Don’t be deceived; this sweet little lion is not trying to give me her candy. Far from it. She’s showing me her candy. I don’t think 30 lion tamers could pry the candy out of her hands without screams, scratches, and one heck of a battle.
On Halloween we walked from house to house, stalking for candy. Her older brother and sister would sprint up each driveway and the little lion would tot run up to the house, nose her way to the front, and pounce on the candy.
The others would put their stash in their bags and jet to the next house. But little lion REFUSED to put the candy in her bag. She screamed, growled, and held tightly to the candy. Why fight that battle? So she carried her candy in her little paws to the next house.
Only she discovered a problem as she reached for more candy.
She couldn’t get more candy because she was still holding the candy from the previous house.
Being the wise lion tamer I am, I offered the bag once again to her. I was met with screams, growls, and tight paws.
This continued the entire night. My greedy little lion could not get more candy because she would not let go of her candy.
Isn’t this what we do sometimes?
Hold on tightly to the sweet things in life to the point that we can’t enjoy more sweet things.
I am a fierce lion when it comes to my kids. And I’ve got a tight hold on my children. Not literally like The People Under the Stairs. Creepy! But I do hold onto them out of fear. I don’t want them to run to get the mail by themselves because they may get hit by a car. We don’t go out for pizza with friends sometimes because I fear the processed ingredients. I don’t want to take them to the zoo because we might get into a car accident. I don’t want daddy to take them to the park out of fear they could fall off the slide. I’m scared that when they don’t want to go to church, they’ll grow up to be unbelievers.
At the heart of holding on tightly is CONTROL. My little lion didn’t want to put her candy in her bag because she felt like she was losing control of it. I’m the same way. I don’t want to let go of my children because I would lose control.
The funny part is, I already don’t have complete control over my kids.
Sure I can control how many grapes they put in their mouths; but I can’t control whether or not they choke. I can avoid processed pizza, but I can’t control whether or not they get sick. I can take them to church, but I can’t ensure they’ll love the Lord when they’re older.
And as I hold on tightly to my kids, I can’t open my hands to enjoy more blessings. We miss simple things like the zoo, pizza, and the park. And significant things like deepening friendships, instilling independence, and developing trusting relationships.
I realize more and more the trusting relationship that needs the most work is between God and me. Solomon shared phenomenal wisdom in Proverbs 3:5 – 6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.”
While I can’t completely control what happens to my kids, I can acknowledge God as the one who is in complete control…and has given me children to raise under His guidance.
Acknowledge that He is the one who did not hold on tightly to His own Son, but opened His hands and let Him die for the blessing of the whole world. We read in Hebrews 12:2 of Jesus
“For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Do you know what the joy set before Him is? It’s you and me…the whole world. It’s for us that He endured the cross. This is the same God who loves my children. Maybe I can trust Him a little more with my sweet candy!
What do you hold tightly? Are you missing blessings because you’re holding on too tightly?