When God says to let go …
Today’s reflection is specially for those among us who already believe in Christ.
We all have things that we find difficult to let go off. It could be a dream that we’ve had since we were little. It could be possessions which are very dear to us. It could be hobbies that are not wrong in themselves but which become problematic because we have become consumed by them. It could be feelings that we know we shouldn’t have.
Whatever it is, we all have things that we find very difficult to let go of.
Today, I want to share something that I have learned and experienced and know to be true: When God impresses upon us that we need to let go of certain things in our lives, it is entirely for our good. God is a gracious and generous God. He doesn’t sit around looking for ways to spoil our fun. As the bible says in Jeremiah 29: 11, ”I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God’s plan is always to bless His children. His blessing may not come in a form that we envision, but they are blessings nonetheless, poured on us by a Father who knows better than we do what will bring us true and lasting joy.
A few years ago, the Lord spoke to my heart and made clear that I was to let go of a dream that I’d had for many years. This came at a time when the dream was finally within my reach, and there seemed no logical reason why it wouldn’t be mine to have. But God had other plans. I struggled over this prompting from God for a very long time. It made no sense. There was nothing inherently wrong with what I’d set my heart on. So why would God ask me to let go of what was within my reach?
I grappled with my decision for a long long time. I questioned God. I tried to reason with myself: Perhaps I’d heard wrong. But inside, I knew that I hadn’t heard wrong.
It broke my heart to do it, but I finally made the decision to let go of what I’d wanted for so long. It made no sense (to me or anyone else around me), but I did it anyway.
What happened after that?
Well, the first thing that happened, I would say, is that God protected me. Somehow, my heart didn’t shatter into many little pieces the way I thought it would. God stepped in and did something that I know I would never have had the power to do myself – He changed me, such that I began to look forward to something that I’d never ever wanted before.
(I think the order in which things happened is significant. It would have been SO much easier on me if God had changed my heart first, and then asked me to let go of what I was holding on to. But He didn’t. God waited till I had listened to Him and let go. Then He provided the way for me to go through with it.)
I think I can now honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. There is something completely exhilarating about knowing that my life is totally in God’s hands. I have been blessed beyond my imagination since then, in ways I would never have imagined. I wouldn’t have been able to predict the turns that my life has taken since then, even if I’d tried to at the time.
The thing is, IF I’d decided at the time to ignore God’s call to let go of that particular dream, I would probably have gone on my merry way, would probably have had some measure of happiness and success and would probably have eventually ended up thinking: Well, what’s wrong with this? I wonder why God didn’t want me to go down this path. This is pretty good.
Well, “pretty good” doesn’t compare to “amazing”. And I would never have known what I missed out on. I would never have known what God had in mind to bless me with. That’s a lesson I’ve learned, and one I need to remember the next time God says to let go of something in my life. God desires to bless His children, to prosper them in the ways that really matter. So … note to self: When God says to let go, let go, even if I don’t yet understand why.