Open Your Hands

It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;...for he will never be shaken;...He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is upheld, he will not fear. (selections from Psalm 112:6-8)

What do you fear the most? What causes your heart to panic or your mind to race? What takes your appetite away or intensifies it?

Our fears, varied as they may be, are rooted in common insecurities. Whether you're afraid of natural disasters, spiders, car wrecks, going outside, your spouse being unfaithful, losing all your teeth, getting sick, dying or making phone calls, those fears find their basis in a core insecurity that keeps you from experiencing freedom and rest.

So that, of course, leads to the next question: what makes you feel insecure? What are you not sure enough about so that you can rest, cease striving, let go, and laugh freely?

I've noticed some common insecurities in women, including myself. I'm no psyciatrist or counselor, so I may be way off on this. But from personal and interpersonal experience, I'd say that many women are insecure about one or more of the following:

I've heard that admitting our insecurities is half the battle. But we still have to finish the fight. It's not enough to reckon with the fact that we feel insecure. We have to overcome those insecurities if we are going to live joy-filled lives.

I struggle with my own share of insecurities. I'm sure you do, too. And there are triggers, right? When I'm weary or hungry or lonely or hurt, I'm more likely to allow my insecurities to get the best of me. 

But I've found that one of the greatest remedies for any insecurity is simply (LOL!!!) to trust God. Obviously that's not so simple. But I say "simply" because sometimes it's just a matter of a simple self-disciplined gesture. Psalm 112:6-8 reminds me that if I hold my life in open, gracious, generous hands, then I am less likely to grab hold and strangle the life out of things, people, opportunities. And when I trust God to govern my life and my welfare instead of trying to manage it on my own, then I will not fear what may or may not happen. I will be secure, stable, upheld, not shaken.

And so, quite often, I practice the simple discipline of opening my hands out to God. I literally and physically open my hands, look at them - wide open with nothing in them - and say to God something like, "I trust You with this God," or "You take care of this for me, Lord," or "I can't, but You can." I give it to Him. I let go. I hand it over.

And suddenly, sure enough, I feel Him putting my feet back on solid, secure ground. The fear escapes like air from a punctured balloon, and the earth beneath my feet stops shaking. 

You see, I've found that indeed God is trustworthy. He honestly can handle anything and everything better than I can. And most of the things I fear happening...never happen. My fears are simply my insecurities taking over and feeding on lies, so that they grow and grow and grow...until they appear to be monsters I can't face, I can't conquer. And all the while, God is telling me to quit fretting, hand it over, and He will take care of it. When I do that, no giants.

Don't feed your insecurities. Recognize them. Admit that they are there. But starve them out by handing your concerns and cares over to a powerful and loving God instead.

Are your insecurities robbing you of freedom and joy? Think about what it is that causes your world to tilt, your footing to slip. Are you struggling to hold onto or manage something that is ultimately out of your control? Give it back to God. Enjoy the security He alone can give you. And look at your empty, open hands...and smile.

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