Quick confession: last week I encouraged you to choose joy in the midst of your trial. Can I just tell you last night I did not do such a great job? I straight up got irate with God because he let the dogs next door bark into oblivion for a full hour in the middle of the night. I don't know about y'all, but mess with my sleep and you are risking your life. By the end of the hour, I was googling ways to report my neighbors, envisioning a high noon style face-off while questioning God's love for me because he wouldn't do this one thing for me. It was ridiculous really. When the dogs were blissfully silent, I felt God whisper, "You still don't trust my love." Ouch. That one stung a bit, but he spoke in such a sweet, loving way. Side note: a great indicator that the voice inside your head is from God is that there is absolutely no shame attached to it. Just love and instruction. Anyway, the reason I tell you about dog night is because I want you to know you're not alone if you're having a hard time choosing joy. I'm in the fight with you, and we will get better together.
What I feel like God wants to do today is send a little encouragement our way in respect to letting go. Letting go may be one of my least favorite phrases, but it can be the most freeing if we can grasp how to execute it. Right now I'm parenting a teenager who is about to enter high school, so God has handed me a big, fat, silver platter of surrender. I know many of you are facing your own seasons of letting go too, whether that be with your kids or with something else. Maybe you've been clinging so tightly to something for years, and you sense God asking you to open up your hands and let it go. I'm not sure what you're heading into this season, but I felt like we could all do with a little encouraging in this area. So here are 3 things I feel like might help us along.
1. God is so much more capable of handling that thing than I am. When I'm holding on so tightly to something, what I'm essentially saying is I think I can handle it. I think I'm the best person to take care of it. But if God is asking me to let go of something, there is a reason. Whatever he's wanting to accomplish, I cannot do. Only he can. We have to let go of our kids in increasingly larger increments so they can grow into the responsible, Godly people we are wanting them to be. We have to let go of seasons because God wants to bring us into a fresh one. Sometimes we have to let go of a person so God can heal us. When we won't let go, we are hanging on to a tether of stagnation. We let go and God is able to do his work.
2. God loves you and wants GOOD for you. This is true for your kids too, by the way. He loves my teen more than I do so me holding him away from God doesn't really make sense. He loves you deeply so letting go is easier because you have the comfort of knowing he's not out to hurt you. His intentions are honorable.
3. God is faithful to finish what he starts. He's not going to ask you to let go and then leave you hanging. God is faithful and he never leaves us. If he has begun the work of making you more like Christ and has asked you to surrender something as a part of that work, he has promised he will complete that work. That means he ain't going anywhere. He will not abandon you. He will see you through to the end.
Surrendering something precious may be the hardest thing God will ask us to do, but our comfort and confidence to do so is only found in trusting the most trustworthy person in the world. And in the surrender, we find the peace we've been grasping for all along.