I was babysitting my goddaughter, Safiya, and her sister, Naima the other day and Naima, who is two, found an eraser that looked like a strawberry. She did what all two year olds do: tried to eat it. I informed her it was not food and I told her we could get some snacks if she was hungry, but she clutched the strawberry eraser and ran away shouting “mine!” I had something better but she thought she had the best. Too often, we are Naima. We are so content with what we find, we ignore and sometimes run away from what God has for us, not realizing that what He has is so much better. If we would just empty our hands, God can bless us.
I remember being very unhappy at my job as a family therapist. I just did not like it. However, compared to most beginning therapists, I was making pretty good money and my hours were fantastic. But that did not seem like enough. I technically could have continued to work as a therapist as I applied to teaching jobs but something in me knew I needed to empty my hands. I didn’t think of it as that then, I just knew I was sick of being a therapist. I had some savings and I was going to live on that until God made a move. During these times of empty hands, I learned how to pray. I knew what it meant to put a request before God and trust He was going to make good on it. I would not have been able to experience this total dependence, had my hands been full of family therapist stuff. Maybe I would not have scored as well on my teaching certification exams. Maybe I would not have taken as many substitute jobs (which is actually how I got my full-time teaching job). I had to put down what I thought was best and trust in God’s better.
Fear kills. Fear cripples. Fear stunts growth. Of the million and one things I want to do in my life, if you ask me why I have not done them, my answer for the majority of those things would be because I’m afraid. I’m afraid I won’t do it right. I’m afraid no one will like it. I’m afraid I’ll look stupid. I’m afraid. So instead, I hold tight to all the things I already know how to do. I hold tight to my views of the world. I hold tight to my stuff. I don’t trust that what God has is better. What I have is good enough… Who really wants to live a good enough life? Not I. So as scary as it may seem, I NEED to walk around with empty hands, awaiting God to fill them.
We can usually tell when God is calling us to something better. It’s usually uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and relies solely on Him to make work. For me, it was a job. For you, it may be a relationship. Yes, y’all have been together for five years and of course you love the person, but it’s going nowhere. You know it, he/she knows it, and maybe the thought of being alone is scary and the thought of having to get to know somebody else is overwhelming (don’t even get me started), but it’s necessary for better. It could be unforgiveness that you need to let go of. You know they were wrong, they know they were wrong, all of your social media knows they were wrong. Empty yours hand of it, so God can give you forgiveness. As much as we want to believe we can hold unforgiveness and forgiveness at the same time, I assure you we can’t (I’ve tried, several times). Let your “secret” sins go. Maybe nobody else knows about them but we both know, God knows. He can’t give you everything He’s promised you because your hands are so full of sin. Free your hands up.
Today I challenge you to drop the strawberry eraser, with the belief that God’s better will fill those empty hands.