There’s a story in a book called “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls that tells how you can catch a raccoon with a shiny object inside a log. You cut a hole it the log just large enough for a raccoon’s paw and put the shiny object inside. When the curious raccoon puts his paw inside the hole and grasps the object, his paw is now too large to come out of the hole and he is trapped because he refuses to let go of the object.
It’s an interesting story which some say they have proven to be true and others say is just an old tale with no truth to it at all. Either way, it’s a good picture of us, God’s children.
There are many things that we hold onto. It might be events from our past or unconfessed sin that we can’t seem to let go of. Those things torment us and keep us trapped. The enemy uses guilt, regret and shame as his chief weapons to keep us from letting go.
There are other things that have a completely different kind of hold on us. We might be clinging to what others think of us or habits we just can’t seem to break. We might be holding onto possessions or status. It might be greed, or a stubborn heart that motivates us to hang on, refusing to let go no matter what.
But God wants to set us free from this trap. He has a plan for each of us and we don’t always understand it but if we know God at all, we know that He is good and anything that he asks us to let go of will be replaced with something much better.
I want you to try a little exercise with me. Make a tight fist with your hand, palm side up, and just look at it for a moment. Now think of a problem or circumstance that you are struggling with and picture it within your clenched fist. If you hold onto it, God can never do what He wants to do with it. If you are holding it, you are allowing it to hold you.
Now, open your hand and ask God to take it from you and do with it what He chooses. By letting go, you have freed yourself.
What are you holding onto that you could give to God? Open your hand!
Proverbs 23:26 Give me your heart, my son, And let your eyes delight in my ways.