I love roller coasters; the adrenaline, the twists and turns, the clink, clink, clink, as you are pulled higher and higher only to reach the summit and plummet back down in a nanosecond! This is fun to me.
My sister on the other hand would prefer to keep her feet on the ground. When I was 12, we went to a carnival and I begged and pleaded with her to go on the Zipper with me. You know the one. You are locked in to this metal cage and then zipped around an oblong shaped track while the cage does 360° turns.
My begging finally wore her down and she relented, reluctantly climbing into the metal cage with me. It only took a moment for my sister to panic, holding on for dear life, and screaming bloody murder as if she were about to die. Seeing the sheer terror on her face, I started screaming for the operator to stop the ride and let us out. That was NOT a fun experience!
Sometimes it feels as if this is the way we walk through life; using action phrases like white-knuckling it, holding on for dear life, and hanging on by a thread. We always have to be doing something. If you aren’t white-knuckling it, you’re not trying hard enough. If you don’t hold on, something tragic might happen. So, we have to do something, even if we’re completely exhausted, barely hanging on by a thread, and at the end of our strength and endurance. On the other hand when we are being held, it’s a totally different feeling.
When my first child was born I remember wrapping him up in my arms and just holding him. He was not required to do a thing but be held. He did not leave my side for the first 24 hours, as I snuggled close and just held him. He was safe, he was secure, and he was at peace.
One of my favorite Casting Crowns song says,
“You’re not alone, stop holding on, and just be held.”
If I could just let go. If only I could just be.
Sometimes life goes so fast we feel that we need to hang on or we will be swept away. But that is not how God intended us to live. He wants to hold us, to make us feel safe, secure, and at peace. We don’t have to hold on, but rather let go. God wants to take our burdens, cares, and concerns. He wants to hold us in His arms and,
“…hide us in the shadow of His wings.” Psalm 17:8.
“Father God, I am so concerned with what is going on all around me that I get caught up and find myself holding on out of fear, worry, and my need for control. I want to give everything to you with palms uplifted. Would you take them? Teach me how to let myself be held as I am …just living the thing.”