"Joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. In an open and humble palm, released and surrendered to receive, light dances, flickers happy. The moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out.....The demanding of my own will is the singular force that smothers out joy--nothing else.
I had thought joy's flame needed protecting....All these years, these angers, these hardenings, this desire to control, I had thought I had to snap the hand closed to shield joy's fragile flame from the blasts. In a storm of struggles, I had tried to control the elements, clasp the fist tight so as to protect self and happiness. But palms curled into protective fists fill with darkness.....
My own wild desire to protect my joy at all costs is the exact force that kills my joy.
Flames need oxygen to light.
Flames need a bit of wind.
........there it is, the secret of joy's flame:
Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control...let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for Joy's fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love....."
One Thousand Gifts, A.Voskamp