Blessings, Challenges, Confessions, Faith & Prayer, God's Love, Living Free, Marriage & Family

What’s in Your Hand?

Catch the foxes for us,
    the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
    for our vineyards are in blossom.

— Song of Solomon 2

Have you ever watched someone you love cling to something that is hurting them? Maybe they smoke a pack a day, eat unhealthy, or live in a constant {manufactured} state of stress?

It’s hard to witness. You know what would help them — and maybe you share that with them — but they refuse to believe it. They have their minds set on that habit, that thing, or have convinced themselves it presents them no harm… so they continue at it, day after day, and you can only stand by and watch and pray.

I wonder how many times Jesus looks over our shoulders and observes us doing the same. How many times has He watched me turn to food, or stuff, or people to fill a void He knows all-too-well they never can?

These are the “little foxes” that destroy our intimacy with the Lord & our loved ones. If left to run unhindered, they can eat up the fruit of our lives — our very own ‘vineyard’ He’s given us to enjoy!

For instance… how many men has He watched turn to porn instead of their own beautiful wives? How often has He longed to say, “I’ve given you what your soul desires — the intimacy & acceptance & affirmation you crave — not on a computer screen but in your very own bed?” Instead these short-sighted men cling to what they believe will give them what they need, blinded to the beauty in front of them.

How many women have done the same — turning to food or Facebook or busyness for comfort after experiencing personal pain and rejection? How often has Jesus longed to take our too-full hands, remove that which destroys our body, and fill them instead with the hands of His body — people who will love & accept us right where we’re at and be our “mothers and sisters and brothers” to fill in the gaps of those who couldn’t be for us? How often has He wanted to meet our needs through those around us, but we filled their place with false comforters?

These “little foxes” stand in the place of His provision in our lives and destroy the relationships He’s given us (including with Him). Scripture calls them idols because, instead of waiting for Him to meet our needs or fill our heart’s desires, we rush to fill these empty places in our hearts ourselves.

I love how Isaiah the prophet calls these things out for what they are…. Lies! They offer us false promises of contentment, satisfaction, joy & peace, comfort & security, even intimacy — in essence, the fruit of the Spirit — but they never deliver. They can never give us what only our God can provide. The true fruit of idolatry is this:

The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
Isaiah 44:20 (NLT)

Maybe today, Jesus is saying,

“What’s in your hand, dear child? Please give it to Me. Lay it down. Your eye has not seen, nor your ear heard, nor your mind even IMAGINED what amazing blessings I have in store for you just around the corner — if you would just give Me what’s in your hand!”

What is He bringing to your mind today that you’ve been relying on in His place? Could it be — and we must trust His heart is to give us only goodness — that He has something SO MUCH better in mind for you & I?

Could we be those people who keep turning to that which destroys us: be it food, alcohol, shopping, impurity, isolation, technology, or other destructive cycles? Could we be clinging to ridiculous idols which pale in comparison to the blessings He has stored up for us?

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply…

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
You hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance….

I have set the LORD always before me;
because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.

For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let Your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16

Lord, show us where we’ve wandered from Your best for us. You ALWAYS have better in store for us! Please help us open our hands & hearts to receive Your gifts, instead of closing them around these false gods promising to meet our every need.

Help us not be the stubborn mule You must steer with bit & bridle — help us instead be soft & malleable to Your leading, trusting that even in painful processes, Your end desire for us is unimaginable joy and an abundance of love!

We believe You are the Giver of every good gift and would never give us a snake or a stone. We trust You & Your promise to supply ALL of our needs according to YOUR riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Waiting with anticipation,
Your sons & daughters

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory