Updated: Apr 18, 2019

Wednesday's Word of Encouragement



\ ˈgrip \gripped; gripping

1: to seize or hold firmly

The ability to hold on is underrated.  Think about it - when was the last time you drank anything without holding it?  Open any jars lately by simply staring at them? And when have you ever thought your way into buttoning your pants? Honestly, I had not entertained these tasks either until one of my hands was "tied behind my back".

I am amazed by how little I regarded the gift of grip. A while back I was involved in an accident that caused me to loose the function of my left hand.  As a writer this was very discouraging. Now, there are many people in this world who live with this and other handicaps for years and even a lifetime.  I have the utmost compassion for these precious fighters, especially as I recovered the use of my hand.

While it may seem invigorating to let go when riding a rollercoaster fulfilling a God-given dream requires more of a firm grip - this came to me one afternoon in my kitchen...

All that stood between me and a piece of sliced sharp cheddar was a blue line. I never thought much about how to make a sandwich: Take the bread out, open the jar of mayonnaise, pull the lunch meat out of the container, unzip the cheese bag...and there it stopped. As my injured hand recovered I had not yet graduated to unzipping the cheese (which is better than cutting it I guess...yes I just went there).

The sliced cheese, I had purchased, was sealed in a plastic wrap and the "starter tear" (the "so called" conveniently placed rip which should aid the chef) was taunting me to give it a "good tug". My "good tug" turned into a full body workout as I hammered my elbow on top of the package and the container and began to pull at the bag with my right thumb and forefinger. The little "starter tear" only taunted me. Pieces of plastic stripping flung from the bag while the cheese stayed safely tucked inside behind its blue lined seal. Frustration began to build but still no cheddar emerged.

Then I remembered who was in charge and it was not the cheese or the ziplock bag. I laughed at myself and scoffed at my opponent, shaking my finger, "You do not win." Pulling open a drawer I reached in grabbed another tool. This time I gently held up the cheese package and introduced it to my friend - the kitchen scissors. Shortly, I was enjoying my lunch in peace.

"Test all things, hold fast what is good."

(1 Thes. 5:21 NKJV)

Did I pass the test?

If the test was opening the cheese I would say - yes

(with some personal challenges)

If the test was keeping my peace I would say - yes

(with some personal challenges)

Sometimes in life we are tested physically, but even more times we will be tested in attitude. Even when our physical grip is not where it needs to be we can still hold fast, quick, strong, and long because our grip comes from within. If our grip begins to slip we must examine if what we are holding onto is good. God is good and when we hold fast to Him we can bENCOURAGEd Today, so that we can encourage others,

(even with some personal challenges :)

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