For most of my Christian life, I’ve felt the need to earn my salvation.  After all, I know I’m not good enough for God’s  love.  My faith falters.  Feeble on good days.  I try to be what He wants.  Fail more often than not, leaving me frustrated and defeated.

That’s why I need Psalm 81:1–‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.’  Nothing here (nor anywhere else in the Bible) about deserving salvation.  Israel is delivered out of slavery in Egypt only because the Lord does it for them.  Like leading a scared child to safety, so the Lord guides His people out of Egypt.  He does it.  He leads.  They follow.

What this psalm tells me is to shut my mouth, listen to Him, and then open it so He can fill me.  With what?  Fatty foods and all?  I do that in abundance without help.  No.  In my case, knowing my emotional background, God wants to fill me with His reassurance and acceptance.  Why?  He knows my needs.  His choice to care.  Mine to open my mouth, allowing Him to fill me.

Don’t try so hard.  Sit back and be fed.  Relax.  Take the pot off the heat.  Cool down.  The harder we try, the worse off we’ll be.  At least when it comes to receiving God’s gifts.  His mercy and love.  Don’t try so hard.

Remember what was called the Chinese Finger Trap?  This entwined gag, in which you insert both index fingers, which then becomes impossible to get out of the harder you try.  Pull and pull harder–no escape.  Relax.  Take off the pressure and out you go.  A lesson there?

Quicksand.  They say if you panic, using all your strength to break out and escape, you’ll only be locked deeper and tighter in its grip.  But relaxing eases your body to freedom.  Don’t try so hard.  A lesson there?

Sand.  Someone tells me the tighter you grip a handful of sand, the less you’ll have.  But open your hand, scoop up a large handful, resting the grains freely on your open palm, and you’ll hold more than you can imagine.  Held loosely.  A lesson here?

Don’t try so hard!


Thank you, Lord, for all you do for us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.