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Clenched Fist’s February 6, 2012

Filed under: Chapter 1 — 1thousandgifts @ 1:14 pm

In reference to the battle Ann’s family has faced with Aimee’s death she says (pg.12),

“…we all silently ask these questions. For years, we come up empty. And over the years, we fill again—with estrangement. We live with our hands clenched tight. What God once gave us on a day in November slashed deep. Who risks again?”

Yesterday at church, prior to the Lord’s Supper, I prayed, “Lord, please reveal to me what is keeping me from whole heartedly following you.” I opened my eyes and looked forward at the child’s bowed head in front of me. It was a wave of clarity. Immediately I began to sob. I have been so anxious about what the future holds, living with fists clenched tight, that I have crippled myself from experiencing the many blessings that are all around me now. Have you ever experienced “clenched fist” living?

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3 Responses to “Clenched Fist’s”

  1. cynthia wade Says:

    There have been SO many times lately where have I have been doing the exact same thing. I get very anxious and worried about everything that has to be done and what is coming. For example, Matt and I have been trying to figure out a budget and where we can afford to live. It has been a bit stressful as we realize things are going to be tight, but then God softly reminded me that He would have never encouraged us to get married and then not provided for us. Yesterday we found out we might be able to get into some apartments that half of what we thought we would pay. So all my anxiety and stress now seems foolish because in reality God has been telling me all along that He’s right here. I just have to be patient and wait for His perfect timing.

  2. Hannah Says:

    I am so guilty of continually living with clenched fists. It’s only when I allow God to graciously work in my heart that he is able to open them. I think I live this way because the lie is always before me that “God isn’t good, He doesn’t care”. For me this wasn’t caused by a horrible life changing event like in Ann’s life, but a slow everyday living for myself and not keeping my focus where it needs to be and (this is the big one for me) not confessing sins right away. Instead I let sin and guilt fester in my heart until the enemy convinces me that God doesn’t love me, that he isn’t good. The truth is that yes, I am guilty but God is so good and he cares so deeply that he has taken that guilt so that we can now live with open hands.
    I liked the part in chapter one when Ann talked about the manna that the israelites received from heaven. They didn’t know what it was but they were nourished by it for 40 years. This is a clear sign of God’s love and intimate care. I am reminded today that God is not against us (as I so often live) for FOR US.

  3. Margie Says:

    Today’s Our Daily Bread is a good reminder to open our clenched fists and give thanks to God for our many blessings:

    February 24, 2012
    Fresh And Flourishing
    by David H. Roper
    Read: Psalm 92

    They shall be fresh and flourishing. —Psalm 92:14

    In Psalm 92, the poet begins with a commendation of praise: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord.” Good for what? Good for you and me. It does our soul a world of good to turn from anxious thoughts and fill our days with prayerful praise; good to greet each morning with songs of thanksgiving, for such praise makes us glad. It lifts us out of gloom and replaces our sadness with cheerful songs at the “works of [His] hands” (v.4). And what is that work? The work He is doing in us!

    Here’s one of my most cherished metaphors: “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing” (vv.12-14).

    Palms are symbols of towering beauty and cedars of unbending strength. These are the characteristics of those who have been “planted in the house of the Lord” (v.13). Their roots go down into the soil of God’s unquenchable love.

    Do you think your usefulness to God is over? Continue in God’s Word, rooted and grounded in Christ, drinking in His love and faithfulness. Then, no matter your age, you will bear fruit and be “fresh and flourishing.”

    From your heart give God your praise
    For His blessings all your days;
    Lift your voice to God above—
    God of mercy, God of love. —Hess

    Praise comes naturally when you count your blessings.

    © 2012 by RBC Ministries. All rights reserved


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