There are major moments in your life that define your ability to trust God. Can you "let go?"
My daughter, Joni, leaves for India on June 15th for 12 months. I am about to face one of those defining moments.
On the one hand I see the beautiful, mature, savvy, organized, intelligent, responsible, experienced woman that seems to get whatever she chases after with faith and sheer determination. (Okay, so her biased dad is writing the blog, deal with it!). Yet, I'm also having difficulty not seeing her as if she were still my 10-year-old baby with freckles and thick glasses, heading to the other side of the world for a whole year alone.
Can I let go?
Yes, I will drive her to the airport and kiss her face with tears flowing and hearts aching. I will probably get back into the car and have a momentary lapse and say to Carol, "Why did we let her do that?" What were we thinking?!
But I will have to let go... Partially for her sake, but mostly for mine.
What does this mean anyway? Does letting go mean that I forget about her, don't think and pray for her, or don't feel responsible for her as a father? Of course not. There is a difference between letting go and cutting off.
I will still be there for her. I will love her more than ever. I will carry the burden of intercession (relentless prayer) for her hourly. I will encourage her, bless her, counsel her if called upon, and stand with her in faith. I will long for text messages and FaceTime.
But I will let go. I will trust her care to the hands of God. I will not worry or fret. And if I do, I will pray until my anxiety becomes anticipation for God to prove Himself faithful and true. I will believe for the best and have faith for the impossible.
Letting go is an attitude of the heart. It is a place of trust and faith. It is in that place that you find peace and strength. It is there you know the ultimate purposes of God's will and can lean on His proven character.
Letting go is freedom! You are no longer entrapped by the bondage of fear and anxious worry. You no longer listen to the voices of catastrophe or failure. You trust. You believe. You are no longer the ultimate control.
As a spiritual concept “letting go” can easily be misunderstood. It is often referred to as "Let go and let God." If I "let go and let God" in my finances, it does not mean I will not balance my accounts and pay my bills. To "let go and let God" is mostly an issue of trust, not usually complete detachment. But it will change the way you think, talk, act, and treat others. Your attitude will be different. Your heart will be different.
The most compelling and gruesome example of this is in the story of Abraham offering his son, Isaac, on the altar of sacrifice in obedience to God. Talk about letting go and letting God! The Bible says that Abraham believed God would raise him from the dead, since He had also promised him descendants through Isaac. It’s hard to fathom that kind of trust. He raised the knife and the angel of the Lord intervened with the good news that it was just a test. He was told that God now knew that Abraham "feared" Him. In other words, he so revered God that he was more afraid of not letting go than holding on and not giving God what was His in the first place.
That's trust. Letting go gets you out of the way. Trouble begins when you don't let go. And when you do let go, God replaces what you released with a better version of the same. The more you let go, the healthier relationship you’ll have with that which you gave. The power of the Bible truth, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" comes to life!
For Joni, I do not want her to be burdened by my lack of trust. If I do not trust God (and her) then she could carry the weight of my distrust. It could become a burden for her. I don't want that. I want her to be free... free from dad's grip, free from a controlling spirit, free from undue guilt and regret. That is pressure I do not have to give her. I can let go and let God. Then Joni will be free. She will be free to grow without the hindrance of my grip holding her back. She can call on me at any time. I will give her my life without taking hers from her. That's keeping trust without losing love.
In fact, our love will grow stronger. By getting out of the way, I leave space for us to come closer together in a healthier relationship. I will then receive the benefits of letting go. By letting go, our bond will actually grow.
I don't know what is going on with you right now, but I can guarantee there is some area of your life where you are finding it difficult to let go. Go ahead... do it! Do it with a heart of trust. God is faithful. He will bless you. Whatever you lose for His sake, from Him you will gain far better.
Let's change the world together!