I sacrificed my blood today.
All in the name of potential anemia, I forwent breakfast and drove to the diagnostics lab down the street. Before long, my name is called and I attempt to casually stroll toward the dark, cold room of intentional wounding. I am met by a nice lady who happily welcomes me in for service, as if she’s the barista for my favorite drink. I (still acting cool) reciprocate her jolly greeting, and cautiously place my arm on the table. I sit there patiently while she enters my information into the system of all who’ve been stuck before me. My fluffy flesh lingers there like an olive colored ribeye waiting to be tenderized. My sweet barista turns around and sauces up the inside of my elbow with some alcohol substance, then ties and elastic strip above it. “Make a big fist!”, she says. You better believe I make the biggest fist possible. I am not having my vein get lost and go through this horrendous process more than once. And… cue the needle. I’m not looking that direction, but I hear her say something. I turn to make out what she is telling me: “You can let go. You can relax your fist now.” “Oh!”, I jokingly chuckle. At this point, the needle’s where it should be and where it will stay to get the remaining job done.
I believe God speaks to us even in cold, dark rooms. I’d been afraid and even unaware that I needed to let go of my clenched fist of restrain. But I really needed to let go of much more than that. I needed to discharge the ingrained lies that told me my life was worth nothing more than what other people thought I was (or wasn’t). I needed to let go of the voices that whispered I had no future value if someone hadn’t seen my current value. I needed to gather everything I thought I could achieve, be, or do for others and count it all as garbage in comparison to what my father in Heaven said about me. I needed to use my talents, abilities, and skills as effective tools, but not as a basis to measure the significance of my existence.
I needed to start striving towards Paul’s words: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8) When I can finally learn to let go of what others have said about me or treated me, I can grab hold of the truth of how much Jesus loves me. I cannot stay stuck in the past, if I want to keep moving toward the future. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)
When I can stop being afraid of losing control over what others think about me, I can experience the fullness of his love. 1 John 4:18 reminds that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
What do you need to let go of today, in order to press on toward his immeasurable love?