An old friend of mine called last night. It had been a while since we talked, and she shared that she had been going through a particularly tough season in her life. She told me the story of how one afternoon, in the middle of the latest round of chaos, she and her husband, their son and niece and her mother drove together to their church for mass. When they got there, they realized that the church had changed the schedule for that week-end. She told me that they began an almost frantic search for another place, finally ending up in a small town, in a small church where an old polish minister delivered a message that was tailor made for my friend. The part that stuck with her the most was his story of a man hanging off a cliff, holding onto a branch, calling out to the Lord for help. The Lord asked him if he believed, to which the man answered yes….and the Lord told him to let go of the branch.
For a control freak like me, it’s that whole letting go of the branch part that is always the most difficult. I have a strong “I can fix this” gene lodged deep inside my psyche. Even if I am far removed from a problem, with no real ability to personally help in any way, I still “hold on to the branch” by obsessing and worrying. Even my praying can take on an urgent “quality” that seems less motivated by faith and more propelled by fear. It’s not that I don’t have faith, it’s that I have an overwhelming need to manage and control. “Letting go and letting God” is sadly not instinctual for me..it’s often my last option after I have completely exhausted myself.
Letting go doesn’t mean we give up, it’s just a spiritual understanding that things will work out as they are meant to, and we can find rest and peace in that truth.
My sweet friend said she had to “let go” of several big issues in her life, and turn them all over to God.
I need to do that too.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7 NIV