Revisiting: When Holding On Isn't a Good Idea 


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1

Have you even seen that poster of a kitten who is holding on to a branch desperately trying to keep from falling.  The words on it convey the idea of "hanging on" when things get tough.

Yes, holding on can be the thing we need to do.  At times, however, holding on is the worst thing we can do. Some things we need to "throw off everything that hinders" us.

I know I sometimes hang on to things that would best be let go of.  I can hold on to pain - either real physical pain or emotional pain - even pain that I anticipate happening.

I had a doc tell me one time that my body "held on to" pain.  At first I scoffed at the idea - but then, upon reflection, I realized just how true that was.  I don't let go of emotional hurts.  I rehash them in my mind over and over.  When I wake in the morning, one of my first thoughts is as to whether or not my body will hurt all day.  In the wonderings, I can feel myself tighten up - anticipating what it will feel like.

I once had a physical therapist tell me that the way I walked and moved was called "guarding."  I was tentative in movements - again, anticipating the pain.  It is difficult for me (no pun intended here) to let my guard down.

I can be that way with people who have hurt me, either on purpose, or inadvertently. I guard against being hurt again.  The only way this is possible is for me to be holding on to those memories of what the hurt felt like.  (Yes, there are people we do need to keep at arms length - or further - but not the whole world.)

It was in interesting revelation for me to see that I not only need to work on holding on to God during the tough times (well, in reality - all the time), but I also need to work on letting go of the tough times themselves.

It's a paradox.  Hold on - by letting go.

Yet, it's one we are asked to do.

Father God, I pray you grant wisdom and discernment to us to know when we are holding on to things best let go of.  Help us to throw off all of those things that easily entangle us. Amen and amen.  


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