Whatís That in Your Hand?


One of my least favorite chores is carrying groceries in from the car.Now that theyíre putting everything in those little plastic bags, I can stick my arms through the handles and carry several at the same time.In fact, I try to carry as many as I possibly can to avoid making too many trips back and forth.I usually load up, then when I get to the door I have to sit some on the ground because with all those bags in the way I canít get the door open.


Carrying in the groceries is a lot like life.If youíre going to get where you want to go, you sometimes have to let go of what youíre holding onto.Everyone is looking for something in life.We may not be clear about what it is weíre after, but we are all pursuing something.Maybe itís happiness, peace, love, security, or something like that.


Have you ever felt blocked or stuck in life?Have you ever felt like you were caught in a cycle of frustration?Read this familiar passage of scripture and then think about a few questions.


††††††††††† (2 Cor 5:17 NRSV)"So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"


How many things are new?Everything!Is this statement true?Of course it is; itís Godís word.Then why do we sometimes feel like the same old things keep following us around undermining our progress?


This scripture means that weíre no longer bound by past failures or inadequacies.It means that the past can only bind us if weíre carrying it with us keeping it alive.But thatís the problem.Many times people go through life keeping their past on life support.


What are you holding in your hand?Whatís stopping you?Whatís blocking your progress in life?What do you need to release?Are there hurts? Resentments?Negativity?Poor self-esteem?


You have to let go of the past if youíre going to embrace a new future.If we open the door, then pick up the past and bring it with us, we make the new situation, job, relationship just like the old one.We recreate our past.We hold onto the past sometimes because itís scary not knowing what is beyond that door.


A good self-image or high self-esteem makes it easier to drop the old baggage and embrace the new.I submit that the real basis for self-esteem is the approval and acceptance of God.When we realize our true identity in Christ, we are free to begin living life without limits.We are free to grow and become what God intends for us to be.


In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul included a pray for inner growth.That prayer is as applicable to us today as it was to the Ephesian believers.(Eph 3:16-21 NIV)"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, {17} so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, {18} may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, {19} and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. {20} Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, {21} to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."


May God help us to go deeper in our relationship with him.May he help us release whatever is holding us back and go on to a new future.