In Christian circles it’s become popular to talk about holding things with open hands. The idea is that by releasing our fingers’ grasp on whatever is important to us – our job, our future, our hopes, our family – we are inviting God to be at work in that which is most precious. We are acknowledging that we want Jesus to use whatever is more dear to us. Therefore, we offer whatever we have for the sake of what He wills.
It’s a wonderful image – this idea of possessing what God has given us, but holding it loosely so that He can use it for His pleasure. Scripture, however, gives us another picture of what God may call us to do. In Mark 14:3-9 we learn of a woman who, prior to Jesus’ death, anointed His head with costly perfume. She was quickly criticized for “wasting” this precious gift and the condition of her heart was immediately questioned. Jesus, however, commended her for this act, saying that what she had done would be told for generations. Others belittled her sacrifice, Jesus honored it.
However, this woman didn’t just share this valued possession with Jesus. In Mark 14:4 it says, “and she broke the flask.”
Only to be used for her King.
While we talk about holding things open-handedly, this woman was so intent on giving Jesus all, that when she gave, she do so in manner which could not be reclaimed. The flask couldn’t be used for something else, she couldn’t grab it back and decide not to pour it all. Everything was laid out before her Maker. She so valued Him that what she held as precious was useless in comparison.
And God may call us to do the same. Holding things with fingers unclenched may not be enough. God wants to so consume who we are, that He wants to shatter anything else that vies for our commitment. He wants us to give everything – not in a way that we can grab it back if giving gets too painful, but in a way that acknowledges that nothing is more precious than honoring our Lord.