Leave the Hand Open

hand caterpillar

Am I doing it right?

I’m not sure.

Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy’s fire.
Leave the hand open and be.
– Ann Voskamp

I’m not even sure I have to do it right.

Keep an open hand. 

It’s best if I do. But if I don’t?

Whether I successfully keep my hands open or occasionally close them into tight little fists, God still loves to give, still gives to love, and is still mightier than any obstacle I can place in his way.

“Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper surprised thanks.”

I want to accept what he wants to give. He gives good. This I know.

This I see.

So I leave the hand open.
I bend the knee and thank.
I simply be.

I want to. He knows. That’s enough.

* * *

Is it hard for you to live with an open hand instead of a clenched fist? Please share in the comments.

revised from the archives

19 thoughts on “Leave the Hand Open

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    If he were sending more pain, yeah, I’d clench the fist…and launch it at His nose, because frankly I have had quite enough.

    But I don’t think he does that; I believe that illness is a necessary byproduct of a world that has to have free will to allow us to choose Him. I think he hates the pain as much as I don, and He ives the will to deal with it.

    That, I’ll gladly take.

  2. Michele Morin

    Mulling over your words, I’m reminded that the more I care about someone (or even something) the harder it is for me to keep an open hand. And these are the times when it’s most important that I do that.
    Open handed love is really what God offers to His children.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good observation, Michele. I’ve been working through “Entering the Castle” and it has asked about our fears and why we won’t let go of them. What you’re saying connects with that: I fear losing people I love through illness or accident or whatever and that’s when I want to close my fist around them instead of keeping my hands open.

  3. Jean Wise

    Words of wisdom here tonight. One time I fretted and fretted over a decision and finally felt God tell me do what your gut tells you – I will bless either decision. That sort of openness to do his will and he returns with openness to us too. We really do overthink some of this don’t we?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I definitely agree that we overthink many of our decisions, looking for that one single “correct” path, when in reality God may not care which way we go—he’ll be there in both directions. Thanks, Jean.

  4. David

    Beautiful post.

    I used to live with my fists clenched almost the whole time. That’s not easy either, and it doesn’t lead anywhere.

    The Way of the Open Hand is far more interesting.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I agree. The open hand is the one that leads to the unimagined and unexpected. It doesn’t feel as secure to me, but in actuality it is. My clinched fists didn’t (and don’t) lead anywhere either.

  5. floyd

    Good one. An open hand takes faith… and a bended knee takes humility. Maybe the knee should come first? Humility, then faith. Just thinking, you know, it’s my year to do so…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I like how you’re thinking, Floyd. Humility first. Otherwise, we think our own handfuls are enough…. Your theme sure keeps coming up in my own life too this year! 🙂

  6. Lori Schumaker

    Hi Lisa,
    Open my hand … and quickly shut it! Then open it again until often without even realizing it, I shut it once again! Thank you for the hope-filled reminder, though, that God knows I WANT to and He honors that! As always, my friend, thank you so much for sharing hope with me at Moments of Hope♥


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I do the same thing, Lori: open then close, open then close. Sigh. But yes, I’m so grateful that God honors our intentions too! Grace. It’s the most hopeful thing I know.

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