Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
Never try to grab for a falling flat iron. Just let it fall.
You may be laughing at those words; I get it, they are ridiculous. Perhaps you’re nodding your head with understanding, phantom pain emerging on a wrist or fingertip. Personally, as I’m writing these words, I am struggling to hold my pen with a freshly bandaged thumb.
Okay, let me explain myself… I knew the second my hair straightener slipped from my grasp I should have stepped back and let it fall. A loud noise is much better than burnt appendages after all… but I wanted to be quick, impressive, heroic even.
For who? No one was watching; I was alone in my bathroom! For myself? Maybe, but if I wanted to take the most heroic course of action, I should have started by remembering something fundamental.
As a child, one of the first important things you learn is that you shouldn’t touch hot things: the oven, an open flame, a hot plate, or food straight from the microwave. As an adolescent girl, newly interested in your appearance, you are reminded of that childhood lesson and told not to touch the hot surface of a curling or flat iron.
I don’t think anyone actually sat me down and went over the repercussions of grabbing for a falling flat iron. The consequences were implied: upon contact with skin, the heat will burn. I’m not naive enough to pick up the flat iron from the wrong end, but I still touched the hot surface. I was in the middle of doing my hair, I knew it was hot, so why did I reach out for hot metal? Gosh, I really couldn’t tell ya, but in a moment when I lost control my immediate reaction was to get it back, no matter the cost.
Doing my hair that night wasn’t the first time grasping for something left me burnt, and I doubt it will be the last. I spend too much time grasping for things I should just let fall. If you’re lost, I’m no longer talking about appliances, but opportunities, jobs, relationships; good things. Good things that don’t belong to me, good things that I want.
I think knowing that what I’m reaching for is good makes it harder, more painful when I don’t receive it. If I had reached out for something I knew would hurt me, like my straightener, the pain would be more understandable.
Why does it burn when I reach for good things? Does God not want me to be happy? Am I being punished? Am I not worthy? Am I incapable? Am I not good enough?
At first I didn’t understand why it would hurt, God “taking” things away from me that were good. The pain of not getting something you desire is confusing, humbling. It took an 8 hour road trip on winding, back roads and a podcast for me to understand.
This is where it gets hard for me, as a writer, as a human. This is the place I confront my failures publicly. This is when I take what the Lord revealed to me and place it in front of you.
It is hard to admit that God did not give me something good because He knew I would make it an idol. He knew I would place something above Him. So He took a good thing and placed it out of my reach to show me that He alone is in control. He alone knows what is good for me. He alone will give me good things, it is not for me to grasp at them.
But it burned. As I reached out for something good, that was not meant for me, it burned.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned through getting burned by my straightener and by not getting a job I really wanted was to look at my posture. Reaching out. Grasping. These actions led me to pain. So what is the opposite? How should I position myself to avoid pain? Stepping back. Arms down. To avoid burns from hair appliances, definitely, but in waiting for opportunities I think we can go even farther. Sitting, hands open, eyes fixed on the Lord, not on the thing. The posture of receiving.
It wouldn’t have burned if I hadn’t reached.
I think there still would have been an element of shock. A falling straightener would have made an unexpected noise. Not receiving a good thing I wanted would have been disappointing to some degree, but if I had let it fall with my eyes fixed on Jesus, it wouldn’t have mattered.
As long as I remain in that posture of receiving – open hands, eyes fixed on Jesus – I will have the best thing. And, yes, Our Lord is so much more than a “thing,” but when we live in a world obsessed with things, sometimes I need a reminder that Jesus is far, far superior!!
Maybe you think I’m crazy. Maybe you never needed to be reminded that Jesus is enough, that Jesus is everything. Maybe you have never been burnt by trying to grab a falling flat iron, or you’ve never been disappointed by not getting what you wanted… but maybe you do need that reminder and maybe you have received your fair share of burns from grasping.
If that is the case, I hope next time you let it fall. Don’t try to be heroic or impressive. Remember that you are enough, you are good, you are capable, you are worthy. The Lord is not punishing you by not giving you some thing, because He gives you Himself!
I hope you sit at the Lord’s feet, keep your eyes fixed on Him, and open your hands to receive all that the Lord desires to give you.