“O Lord, I bring an offering to you…”

I deeply appreciate the words of that song. I’m listening to it tonight in our floor lounge. It’s quiet (I mean, hey, it’s 1:00am), and my body is tired from a long day. My heart, though, is peaceful. Much has been getting done. God is at work and teaching me yet again the importance of prayer.

There’s a professor here on campus whose trademark line is about holding things (especially significant others) with an open palm. We joke about it here, mostly because he has the most precious Southern accent and is a bajillion years old.

There is something so symbolic about an open hand facing upwards. It shows surrender. It shows that we’re giving something up that we’ve been holding onto. It shows God that we’re done and that we trust his plan over anything else.

It’s a relinquishing of control.

My relationships with my friends are some of the most important things in my life. The people I care about and walk in Christ with are so special to me. Coming from a place earlier in life where I had no consistent Christian brothers and sisters, the men and women I’ve met since coming to college have blessed me more than they can ever know.

I realized this past week that a certain friend of mine has been influencing me too much, and I’ve been allowing it. It was like blinders fell off; I noticed that he wasn’t encouraging me nor our other friends, and his hidden fears of vulnerability were preventing the rest of our group from growing in Christ together. He has been setting the tone for all of us, and I just realized that it wasn’t edifying this past week.

This friend of mine needs Jesus to break down the barriers of his pride and ego. I can see the hurt and the pain, but as a sister, I can only do my best to set the example and tone in our friendship, discern opportunities for correction in love, and pray, hard, that the Lord works in his life. 

Holding my friendships in an open palm allows for me to give them up to God and let him work. I certainly can’t be Jesus to my friend; it’s up to the Lord to humble him, heal him, and help him.

Offering up my life to the Lord includes turning over everything over which I desire to exercise control. I cast my cares upon him, because I can trust the God cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). He has me, he has my brother in Christ, and he holds the world.

To whom else could I go? For who else is all powerful and has the words of life? (John 6:68). 

The Master does, and I look to his feet to lay my crowns down.