Empty Hands

by Jun 13, 2022Devotional

Guest Post: Abigail Hamilton

“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open…You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.” – Corrie Ten Boom

I was deep in prayer, and in my mind’s eyes I saw myself. I was in the middle of a dark, deep ocean standing on a rock that jetted out of the swirling waters of life. I panicked.

Would I be able to stand? Even though all imagined, I could almost feel the mist of the water on my face, arms, and legs. Suddenly, I pictured giant, weathered wooden beams standing vertically out of the water within reach. Frantically, I grabbed onto them…just in case the high tide overtook me on the rock.

“That, Abigail, is what you are doing.” The impression from God was very clear and strong. “You’re standing on the Rock, but you can’t fully trust me. You’ve got supports you’re clinging to just in case if the storm gets too strong. You have plans. You have back-up ideas.” 

A couple years have passed since that time. I do remember the specific moments as I let go of my supports—one by one. The storm didn’t die down, but my feet have become more sure of the Rock I’m standing on.

This way is narrow. The last couple of verses from Luke 9 show us this. Jesus met and called three different people who all were adamant about following Him. To the first Jesus let Him know things wouldn’t always be the most comfortable or convenient. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

The second man said he had full intentions of following Christ. He just needed to bury his father first. Jesus responded, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” Jesus wanted people to know that His will was more important than life duties or family ties.

The last man just wanted to tell his family goodbye before following Jesus as a disciple. But, like the angels told Lot and his family, Jesus did not want the man to look back at the things he would have to leave. “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Are we wrapped up in life’s responsibilities so that we cannot follow? Or do we have family ties that hinder us from giving Christ our all? Do we wish not to let go of our supports so fast? Do you want a grieving time to say your goodbyes to the things Jesus wants you to let go of?

My friend, Jesus is not calling us to just “hold things lightly in our hands,” He’s asking if we’d just empty them completely.

Empty hands.

He wants us to let go of all the wooden beams that we are holding to because our trust in Him isn’t that sure and steady.

Empty hands.

To throw off our baggage—the harmless things of life that slow us down on our journey. Empty hands. 

Christ still is walking among us. He calls out, “Follow me.” And to be honest, many of us want to follow Him; we crave that intimate relationship with Him. But what He is wanting is empty hands. For us to leave our money tables like Levi. For us to leave our nets and fishing boats like Peter, James, and John. To leave it all. 

Our lives can get so cluttered. We can get tied down to so many things we label as “necessities.” Empty hands. That’s all He wants. And friends, if that’s what He wants, that is what I want.

All for Jesus, all for Jesus

All my being’s ransomed powers

All my thoughts and words and doings

All my days and all my hours

Let my hands perform His bidding

Let my feet run in His ways

Let my eyes see Jesus only

Let my lips speak forth His praise

Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus 

I’ve lost sight on all beside

So enchained my spirit’s vision

Looking at the Crucified

Oh what wonder how amazing

Jesus glorious King of kings

Deigns to call me His beloved

Lets me rest beneath His wings

-Mary James (1810-1883)


  1. Sharen Young

    Another beautiful devotional.

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Thank You!

  2. Rachel