I just heard a podcast this morning where a preacher says Cory ten Boom used to attend his Southern California congregation.
(Cory was a Dutch Christian who along with her dad and family helped a lot of Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust. She wrote a book about it called “The Hiding Place.”)
The preacher tells of a time when Cory stood with him at the church door as his kids ran around playing as kids do. She smiled at the children and said:
“Pastor, are these your children?”
He said yes and she asked to see his hands. He held out his hands and she placed her tiny hands under his. Then she said the following:
“I want to tell you something. Hold everything loosely. If you do not hold everything loosely, it will hurt when the Father pries your fingers loose, and takes them from you.”
I had heard that quote before. I have used it in lessons, in advice to others, and when encouraging people going through times of change or loss.
It isn’t because I now know who said it, or have the original context… but this morning it hit my heart like stone. So I don’t have anything new to say this morning.
But I can taste, feel, and see this old saying in such a powerful new way. If you’re young and reading this, it is possible it just sounds like a quote. If the Lord has already blessed you with many years, you might already know what I am going through today.
Regardless I just wanted to say I realize I rarely held the people and things that mean the most to me loosely. We have to know deep in our souls that everything and everyone belongs to God. He is the creator. We are the creations.
That is God’s money. Those are God’s children. This is God’s planet. It is God’s breath in our lungs. All the world and everything in it belongs to God. He places people and things in our hands. Like children, we clamp down on them and declare “MINE!”
But Cory was right.
“Hold everything loosely. If you do not hold everything loosely, it will hurt when the Father pries your fingers loose, and takes them from you.”