Do you remember in Elementary School when we had “Show and Tell?” Someone would bring in something that was special to show the class while telling them about it. Sometimes, the teacher would let the speaker pass around the item(s) that had been brought. Once in awhile, when there was more than one item being passed around, one of the students would try to keep something…hiding it. Then the teacher would explain, “Whoever is keeping the item needs to give it back. It is not yours to keep. It belongs to someone else. Please return it.”
I was reminded of Show and Tell during Noon Hour of Prayer this week. Fr. Stephen was discussing his sermon which was about “control.” He asked the question, “What are we keeping from God?”
His question really made me think, “WHAT am I keeping from God?”
I don’t know about you, but I tend to compartmentalize my life. There are certain areas in my life that I gladly toss to the Lord, other areas that I reluctantly hand over, and then those areas that I want to keep all to myself. I’m not sure that I always know that I’m keeping something from the Lord. But, if I even think that there is a sliver of a chance that I can control an area of my life then I want to keep it for myself…quietly hiding it away from the Lord.
I had a dream one night that gives the perfect visual of how I keep things from the Lord:
Early in the morning I walked across the sand to a tent. Inside the tent was an altar where I was to lay down different circumstances in my life. Each morning I loaded up that altar with things I was going to give to God.
A little while later I saw myself sneaking across the sand to slip into the tent. I snuck up to the altar, furtively looked around then snatched a couple of the things back off the altar. I turned, running out of the tent. Throughout the day I continued to sneak back to the tent. I ended up taking back almost all of the stuff that I had placed on the altar.
When I looked back over my shoulder, at the end of the day, there was the Lord sadly looking at what remained in front of Him on the altar. I knew in my heart that He had desired for me to give Him all of my circumstances…not just some of them.
We don’t have to keep anything for ourselves…hiding it away. God is strong enough to handle anything that is going on in our lives. Our lives belong to Him…they aren’t ours to keep. We need to return them to Him. When we come to the place where we can surrender everything in our lives to the Lord we will be walking in the amazing freedom He died to give us.
Walking in freedom sounds very appealing to me, how about you?
I’ve decided that my homework for this week is going to be to ask the Lord to show me what areas in my life that I am keeping from Him. I don’t want to keep things from Him anymore!