Bob Goff’s book Love Does discusses palms-up living in Chapter 31. You can buy it here.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5
Recently I had the opportunity to live in the Greater Toronto Area, a place I had never fished before. So when I arrived at the river I went for big carp and small bass like the locals. After getting skunked fishing carp, I switched to a light rod and began targeting faster, fun-fighting bass. Cast, cast, cast. Reel, reel, reel. And for a while, nothing. Not a bite, not even a sighting.
Then, while retrieving my lure near the deep rocky shore, flash, boom! The rod bent sharply and line zipped to the depths. Whoa! Fish on!
I normally land fish in 1-3 minutes, but my light tackle made me play carefully the fish’s steady weight and charging runs. Five minutes. Eight minutes. I thought it a sure catch.
And then, with no warning, the fish turned, shook its head, and spit the hook. Fish off. I only saw its tail.
Years ago I learned to fish “palms up,” meaning I am not in control and the outcome of a “fish on” was no guarantee of a fish caught. But this time I expected success, and hoped for a photo op with my first Ontario trout!
My angst is genuine yet misplaced. Like the Psalmist I know my hope and comfort comes from God, not from fish caught or other achievements. When I live palms up, I indicate my willingness to love God and leave outcomes in his hand, and along the way his Spirit offers rest.
Are you fishing palms up?
Dear God, so often I want to control everything in my life. Help me to open my heart to your love and my hands to your details so I may know your peace amidst disappointment. Amen.
Today in your prayer time, physically pray "palms-up" and allow the Holy Spirit to take control of those parts of your life you would rather cling tightly to. Amazing things can happen when we surrender control.