The Open Palm Theory – Jamie Wong
I am not God. Fact. I am incapable of knowing the ‘best possible scenario’. Fact. God is capable of orchestrating the ‘best possible scenario’. Fact. God is good. Fact.
If all of the above is true, then I can only conclude that God gives and takes away in accordance to His infinite, astronomical love, and in alignment with His perfect and extravagant will.
Therefore I believe that God intends for us to hold all things with an open palm.
Holding all things with an open palm means allowing God uninhibited access to give you whatever He wills, but also to take it back whenever and however He so desires. Most often, He unapologetically does His thing without any pre-approved explanation. “Can’t hold on to these things too tightly,” I’ve said a lot lately. Slowly but surely my head is persuading my heart of the truth in that statement. The purpose is to let God be God. The goal is to utterly trust Him. A complete, unconditional, self-abandoned kind of trust.
The difficulty, however, lies in the required relinquishment of control. Realigning the power structure leaves us exposed to the potential for loss, disappointment, and hurt. But it also releases us into the endless possibilities of God’s goodness. It’s not always easy to resist the reflex action of closing my hand around God’s gifts. It seems somewhat counterintuitive to my human instinct and I’m somewhere in the process of learning what it means to be at peace with that.
Holding things with an open palm doesn’t pacify the pain of loss, but it does provide purpose to it. In as much as we are allowed to grieve a loss that He has sanctioned, we are allowed to wholeheartedly celebrate the gains that He gives. God wants to lavish us with only the best. All good things come from Him, but we must never lose sight in the rejoicing that He is the source. If in His boundless wisdom He chooses to take it from our hands, then we haven’t lost anything that was ever ours to keep in the first place. For as long as I have breath, I have to trust that the best is yet to come. And when I struggle to see things from His perspective, I resort to a literal interpretation of the open palm theory and raise my hands in worship. Worship is an act of surrender, giving it all back to the One who gives all things. The sacrifice required in surrender produces the sweetest kind of worship. It costs me, but it is so precious to Him.
The open palm theory means sacrificing your will, your dreams, your desires and your plans to a God who knows a little better than you do, sees a little further than you can and loves you a whole lot more than you could even comprehend.Trusting God doesn’t often provide an explanation for the reasons why, but it does give us hope that there is a reason why. It releases us from the grip of frustration when we confront the impossible challenge of comprehending God’s uncomprehendable ways. That which God gives, He is free to take away. I refuse to be jaded by my disappointments and I dare to hope for more every time I have to give a good thing back to Him. I’m learning to hold on a lot less tightly than I am comfortable with, but with the confidence that I am surely and securely anchored to His will. Fact.
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