What are You Holding Onto? - Ryan Hollingshead

When, in seasons like COVID, all you have has been stripped away and you are left with Jesus alone, you’re faced with the question: Is this enough? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Yes He is! The Christian life isn’t one that always leaves you with the answer of what’s next, but it’s a fight of continually preaching to yourself that Jesus is enough. He’s enough in every moment and there isn’t anything else we need.

In John 6, we watch as Jesus shares a hard, but realistic, view of what it means to walk with Him in this life. When many of His followers turned back after hearing His words, Jesus looked at Peter and said, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Peter recognized that Jesus held the gift of eternal life as well as purpose for this life.

We don’t ultimately hold our lives in our own hands. Regardless of what happens in this life, nothing will make me want to stop trusting in Jesus. He is everything. What would it take for us to get to the place where we no longer have to think about surrendering our lives to Him because we have let go of all of it, placing it into His hands?

As athletes, so much of our careers are filled with pressure, and they’re also limited by a timeline. There’s a physical and mental aspect of our work that is limiting. You may have an ideal timeline and set of goals for your career — how long you want to play, until a certain age, and until you reach a certain level — but so much of it is out of your control. I know I need to surrender it all to Jesus, as well as my identity as an athlete. If God decides to take my career as an athlete away from me at any time, that’s OK. If that time comes, my family and I will fight through while being hopeful in the midst of it, because we know that all of it is His. It’s His to give and it’s His to take. We need to be able to say, “Whatever God gives and whatever He takes, blessed be His name.” This is not just a pandemic mindset, this is an every year, everyday mindset.

My wife and I have been going through the foster parenting process. While we chose to do this, so much of it is out of our control. We find ourselves sitting right in the middle of the situation with no power. We’re raising kids we consider to be ours, including them in everything we do as they become a part of our family, and yet we know they could be taken from us at any point in time. The state and system holds all the power over this child’s life and we can only trust in the Lord to do what He is going to do. So we take every opportunity to be a good influence in the life of this child and point them to Jesus, so they may see the Gospel in a home which thrives under the rulership of God. But ultimately, with this child, with this career, with our health, and with our lives, we hold it all with open hands, knowing God is going to do what He’s going to do and we can only trust Him.

So much of our lives have been taken from us or limited due to this pandemic. So much of it is out of our hands, but what are you still attempting to hold onto? What is it that you need to give to God in order to live truly surrendered and free by His grace?

— Ryan Hollingshead, FC Dallas midfielder/defender

Ryan Hollingshead is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Ryan’s Increase profile here.

If you enjoyed this article, please share: