praying with clenched fists

by Kristen

“[Hold] onto whatever you think your rights are—in your home, in this church, in life. Hold onto expectations, entitlements, offense and bitterness. Hold onto all the things you think you’re ‘owed’ by God, by your family, by this church . . .”

A list materialized in my mind: being heard, being valued, getting married, having my own home, being secure.

It wasn’t a list of obvious evils yet it surfaced as a series of unfilled expectations that had settled into unfounded entitlements and deep resentments. I’d elevated and worshiped my desires and created a whole shelf of idols.

But I am not owed any of those things: a voice does not guarantee an audience; value is not contingent on the appraisal; relationship and sanctuary come in many forms. My longings that had settled into assumptions were not meritless; they were simply built on a faulty foundation. I crafted them on the unsteady surface of self.

“Bring all that is clenched in your two fists to the foot of the cross—where the finished work of Christ is ‘enough’ … and release those things there.”

Clinging to privilege is exhausting. My nails bit into my palms; I swiped at a tear with a knuckle. As I forced my fists open the tension in my fingers exposed the rigidity of my heart.

I’d slipped into the straightjacket of “never enough” with shocking ease, but it took Jesus to unbind me and cloak me in His “enough.”

Flexing my fingers I felt the freedom of empty hands, the freedom to receive and build on a sure foundation.


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