Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
As we go through life, I wonder if you’ve ever stopped to ask yourself a question: Am I a grabber and a clutcher? Do I hang onto the things in life that I want, and hang onto them tightly?
It’s an interesting question—I think, by nature, we are grabbers and clutchers. I read this story:
When you were just a newborn infant, like all babies, you came out with your hands closed. And every time somebody put their little finger by yours, you would wrap your hand around it, hold on tight, and not let go. As a toddler, your started grabbing rattles and little toys. When another kid came in your direction and wanted to take them away from you, you said, ‘Mine’ and held on tight. When you were in Junior High School, you hung on tightly to bicycle handlebars and batons and other things. In High School you hung onto the hand of a special girl…and you were not about to let that go. In college you hung onto a lot of different stuff—maybe some stuff we don’t even want to mention here—but when you left, you were clutching a diploma in your hands.
When you started a career, you grabbed the lowest rung on the corporate ladder and hung on. And then you reached for the second one and you hung on, and then the next one and the next. Since then, you have been climbing ladders, clutching the rungs. Someday retirement will come and you’ll hang onto golf clubs or gardening tools—pension funds and social security. When you near the end of your life, you will start hanging onto canes and walkers. And then do you know what happens to some people in the final moments of their life? They clutch the edge of a hospital bed. They hang on tightly, as if to life itself. And then, when they die, only then do they finally relax their grip.
It’s a great thought from an American Pastor. We are so busy in life that we’re out to grab all we can, to get what we want in life, and to never let it go for fear of losing it. But one day we will have to relax our grip and let go. The problem is that clutching is like breathing—it comes naturally.
God—the great Giver
But in contrast, think for a moment of the open, giving hands of Almighty God. Think of it. In Creation, God lavishly formed and fashioned with his hands. He created that which was good—very good. And then, he opened up his hands. He gave his Creation to those he created, as a gift to be cared for and enjoyed. Throughout the history of God’s people, again and again, God opened his hands and generously provided them with food, drink and protection, and blessing and love.
In Psalm 145:16 it says that God opened his hand to satisfy the desires of every living thing. And this has never changed. God’s kindness and generosity continues today. As the Prophet Jeremiah proclaimed that God’s “compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23). James goes so far as to say that, “Every good and perfect gift…” every good thing in life is a result of God’s open-handed giving (James 1:17).
You see, bound up in the very heart of God, is the desire to open his hands and shower his children with goodness. Our God is a great Giver—he never stops giving. Have you taken time today to consider what he has given you? I’m sure you can think of many things. What about your friends and family?
I’m talking today about a giving God, especially as we realise that he became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came to this earth, he saw the needs of people ans opened his hands and taught, healed, touches, loved, fed people, and freed people from their sins. Listen to some of his words:
- In John 4:14, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks the water I give him, will never thirst.”
- In John 10:28, he said, “I give them eternal life and they will never perish. No-one can snatch them out of my hand.”
- In John 14:27, he said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”
- In Matthew 11:28, Jesus promised, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus opened his hands on the cross and they were nailed to the cross as a sin payment for you and me. The Bible says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
We must open our hands and say to him, I need your help, God, I can’t make it on my own.