don’t get a grip

on self-dependence and trusting God 

Hi everyone! It’s been a while. Two weeks is one twenty sixth of the year. Perhaps that’s why. Posting biweekly slices the year into 26 pieces of cheesecake for newbee. Well, I guess if I want to post more, I will! 

This week’s title is don’t get a grip. You’ve heard the saying, right?  

Imagine this. 

We’re in a gritty sports movie, accompanying some compelling protagonist through an inevitable journey of growth. Things were going well until they weren’t and now that they’re all blown off course, their skills are out of wack. 

The film’s events are leading up to the big game, and our character, our beloved main player, fumbles it in the key moment. They mess up pretty badly, nearly or wholly trashing circumstances for the team, and end up highly disoriented in the matter of things.  

To make things worse, their coach/manager/friend walks up to them, shouting. This just throws things further off the axis. 

Our character gets scolded thoroughly, wincing at the truth of every criticism. 

In the midst of the heat, their manager/coach/friend tells them to, “Get a grip, Richardson!” [fill in last name appropriately]. 

Now, having not played a traditional team sport in six years, I can still assure you, the receiving side of this is not a nice feeling. 

The whole criticism speech—the harsh, personalized lecture—it implies that you’re slipping.  

The coach/manager/boss probably just means skills and playing. But in the middle of a shouting session, it can feel and be a whole lot deeper than how you pass a ball or coordinate a play.  

You start to think that they can see you slipping in not just the game, but in all of life. Things have come undone, and the threads are visible. Your behavior is starting to reflect a lack of balance. To sum it up, you don’t just seem unfocused, but maybe even unwell

But what does the phrase get a grip imply? What exactly are you losing a grip on? Did you have a grip in the first place? 

I have a problem with this phrase, because in the context we’ve just discussed, it’s not simply having a firm hold on a concept, but clenching something with tension, stress and pressure and anxiety. This type of Grip is what causes headaches. 

A Grip, with a capital G, is holding on so hard, our veins start to make indents in our skin.

A Grip is something you can feel tensing through your arm, and something that still aches once you’ve let go. If you ever do.  

A Grip is clenching the teeth and bulging the eyeballs and pushing through pain as tears stream. 

A Grip is not God’s long-term intention for you. 

These lyrics from Casting Crowns convey a similar message. 

And when you’re tired of fighting 

Chained by your control 

There’s freedom in surrender 

Lay it down and let it go 

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away 

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held 

Your world’s not falling apart, its falling into place 

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held 

Just Be Held, Casting Crowns

God wants to take care of us, more than any earthly parent. He’s there for us in every moment of pain and need. Instead of getting a grip, lean into him. He’ll help you get a firm grasp without aching, and he’ll encourage, equip, and enable you to make it through. 

More than that, the idea of getting a grip tells the listener to get in control. I believe it’s true that we can only control ourselves, but only you know your state of mind. Only you know how difficult it is to focus.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a place of focus, and even harder to find peace. Peace is a setting that enables focus. It’s why those who are better provided for (food, housing, income), are able to perform more consistently and stay healthy. 

Instead of pushing yourself past your limits in times of need, ask God to give you peace and strength. In fact, he’s already gifted them to his followers, and prepared it for His children. 

God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

II Timothy 1:7, NKJV

I have to remind myself of this on a daily basis. Don’t try to stand up on my own and wobble. Reach for God’s hand and use his strength to pull yourself up. 

Fall back on God. Depend on him for strength. Most importantly, it’s vital to talk to him about everything! You can complain to God!  

This didn’t even occur to me until recently. It might not be ideal, but he knows that we know he’s good even when we don’t feel like it. And if we don’t know, he shows us. 

I remind myself to complain to him in my time of need, vent, rant or even take the silent time to rest and feel hurt. It’s natural to feel hurt, but do it while being held in his arms.  

Trust God to renew your energy, and stay connected by planting yourself in the Word. 

“I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me. 

John 15:5 GW

I’ve heard people say to put your mouth where your money is. Similarly, I think that who we entrust the care of our mental health to says a lot about our trusts and priorities. If you’re committed to following Christ, I encourage you to place your trust in God. 

Where do you struggle to depend on God? Have you ever vented to Him? 

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