Years ago I heard of an interesting way to catch a monkey. When a banana is placed in a glass jar, the monkey will reach in and grab the banana. With a clenched fist it will not be able to remove its hand from the jar. Even in the face of danger, it will hold onto something it perceives of value, rather than open its hand and lose the prize.
This makes it easy for the trapper to grab the monkey when all it needed to do to ensure its freedom was to drop the banana.
The story came to mind recently when I felt God impressing on me to keep my hands open. Everything was going well in my life and yet I felt discontent. Something wasn’t quite right and I didn’t know what it was or what to do about it.
Like the monkey, I was holding on to the prize in my hand and found it hard to let go. After a struggle, I was able to say through my tears, “I don’t want to give this up, Lord, but I will if that’s what you want from me.”
By opening my hands and letting go of what I perceived as important I was submitting to God’s will for my life. It was strange to think I had to let go of my own desires to find freedom, but that was exactly the case.
The restrictions I placed on my life have been lifted and I am in awe of what God has now placed in my outstretched hands. His plans for me are far greater than anything I could dream of and I am overjoyed to have him back in control.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)