Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Hold It All

I was driving to a men’s group this morning and trying to mentally and spiritually prepare myself for our time together. There was a lot on my mind. I just finished my school quarter and I am moving into my last year of seminary. I was thinking about the oncoming wave of emotions that is beginning to hit me as I face my first Christmas without my mom. I was struggling with decisions about my dad and his health which seems to be deteriorating rather than getting better. I thought about these and other things like balls that I was trying to juggle. I stink at juggling. The image of all of the balls falling and bouncing in all different directions was incredibly vivid in my mind.

As I continued to drive, I was reminded of a song that we have been singing a lot in church lately. It was probably on my mind because we are doing it on Christmas Eve. The words screamed out to me as a reminder that I wasn’t supposed to be holding it all together. That wasn’t my job, nor was I knit together to be able to handle that. In fact, the One who created me and knit me together is the One who holds it all together. I was trying to do His job rather than resting in who He is and who He has created me to be.

It’s funny how the advice that we sometimes give to others seems so difficult to apply to ourselves and our own lives. I stood across from a brother in Christ who I had been telling this very thing and was convicted that I hadn’t heeded my own advice.

Control is a big word. We all love it and our culture instructs us to make sure that we are the ones who hold it all together. None of us want to lose control; that would be a sign of weakness. But the paradox is that when we surrender control to God, we are actually more in control than when we might think we are. We may live under the illusion, or delusion, that we can handle it all, but eventually, we will watch the balls fall to the ground and scatter in all different directions.

2011 has been a year of losing control. If I learn what I’m supposed to, I will learn that I need to lose control in order for God to gain control, and that’s not a bad thing. Am I willing to surrender my pride and delusional sense of control? In many ways, it reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:37-39:

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Next time you feel like things are spinning out of control, maybe it’s because you’re trying to hold it all together. Abandonment and surrender are more freeing than we allow ourselves to believe. Believe it and you will be set free!

Here are links to the song “You Hold It All” as well as the story behind the song:

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