It begins in the crib. We hold things tightly, like a pacifier or toy.

Progressing through each stage of life, we always find a new object to grasp: a baseball bat, a diploma, keys to car or home, our wallet, a job, a relationship, our independence. The objects are endless.

If we will follow Christ, He will gently but firmly be about the business of showing us anything we are holding tightly that is detrimental to our lives and His purpose.

He is not being mean, but gracious. He knows where we need to relax our grip. He also knows the beautiful things that happen when we release anything that has become more important to us than Him.

Moses’ Grip

Moses held a simple shepherd’s staff. It was all he had, but it was his. But God knew that if Moses would relax his grip on his last vestige of independence, it could become a powerful tool in the hands of God.

The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail”—so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—“that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you” (Exodus 4:2-5 NASB).

In Moses’ hand, the rod was merely a stick. But it was his stick.

When he relaxed his hand, what he was holding became something powerful. Something that could be used of God to deliver people and show the world God’s glory. Something that could be redeemed for a greater good.

In fact, the rod of man now became the rod of God. As Moses and God held it now together, it became a mighty tool that even parted a sea for God’s people to cross.

So Moses took his wife and his sons and mounted them on a donkey, and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses also took the staff of God in his hand (v. 20).

What’s In Your Hand?

Is there anything you are unwilling to relinquish to God, to release to His control? A job? A relationship? Possessions? Comfort? Popularity? A favorite habit or sin?

Remember, God is not out to take from you, but to bring to its proper purpose all that you have. It would be good to pause right now and look down at your hands. Ask God to show you what you are gripping more tightly than you should.

If you will release it to Christ’s control, you will find new power and purpose for your life. The things in your life will become aligned with His plan.

But if you vainly hold on, you will discover one day that all you have is a stick.

Lord, let me cooperate with You as You mold and make me into the man You have planned for me to be. Help me to hold everything in this life with a loose hand—to quickly release anything You call for, knowing that when it is given to You, it always becomes something better.