Rescued from the Death Grip of a Blankie

We hold onto things.
That’s just what we do.
As if we fear drowning in the high surf of modern times,
we grab whatever floats past on the
next wave, the closest current,
and hold on as if that is the one thing that can save us.
Even if a rescue boat rows near
And offers us safety if
we will only pry loose our grip from the flotsam
that we believe is keeping us afloat,
we resist,
we fight,
we risk refusing true rescue
all for the item in our grasp.
When my daughter was a toddler, she dragged her cotton blankie everywhere.
It was that particular compilation of threads that
held her together when
the waves of toddlerhood loomed high.
One Sunday, we were in the “quiet room” in the back of our sanctuary
where families allowed toddlers to  wander a bit
as they listened to the sermon.
Hannah was several steps from me when I noticed her blankie wrapped around her legs
She was close to toppling into the glass window separating us from the rest of the worshipers.
I tried to free her from her entanglement
but she resisted,
vehemently gripping her blankie
as if she feared I’d chosen THAT moment
to rid her of all her security
and might just destroy the blankie without warning.
The more she fought me, the tighter the blanket wound around her
and her frustration reached a pinnacle of volume
that defied even the insulating glass of the quiet room.
I had to swoop her off her feet
and take the blankie by force
to save her from herself
and her chosen source of peace.
Hannah’s blankie illustrates for me
that we all have an innate, internal understanding
that we’re at risk and that we need to be saved.
When, however, we panic like drowning men,
And grab hold of the first item or person or idea or philosophy that comes along
thinking that will be our salvation;
we risk sealing our fate beneath life’s rough waters
rather than freeing ourselves from them.
And when Jesus or someone representing Him
rows up alongside us and tries to get us to release our grip
from that which can’t possibly save us
we resist
to our own harm.
Jesus told the Jews that freedom was found in Him.
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8: 31-32
And it is.
It comes with words like forgiveness, grace, release, redemption, and love.
But it also comes with instructions to
let go of all else,
and on the side of the lifeboat, are also words like obedience,
And surrender.
Jesus asks us to let go of other ideas, philosophies, habits, relationships, and idols
we think will keep us afloat
so we can appropriate the salvation that is only found in a life with Him.
Sometimes, even once we’re in the boat,
we lean over the side and try to drag other items in
until He yanks them from our hands
and tosses them overboard where they belong.
We all hold onto things.
Much of this life with Jesus is about letting everything else go.
Scary at the moment of release
but freeing once we experience the relief
of leaving our entanglement
and walking freely with the God of the Universe.
How about you? What do you have in your grip? What could you gain by letting go?

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