Let’s be honest, letting go is one of the more difficult tasks we are asked to do.
We humans like to hold on to our possessions, relationships, aspirations, expectations, etc. All those things are good, but sometimes, God asks us to let go of some aspect of our lives as good as it is and that can become a struggle. I have been profoundly blessed to have a rich, meaningful life filled with many opportunities for ministry.
I love every part of my life, but three weeks ago I woke up with debilitating back pain that prevented me from standing, sitting or walking. When I asked God what he wanted me to learn through this situation, I heard, “Let go.” But how does one let go of what you love so much? One of my favorite quotes is, “To pray is to let go and let God take over.”
So, let’s explore together how prayer can be a source of strength when we are asked to do the very difficult task of letting go of something or someone we love.
As we let go in prayer, we learn to trust and when we trust God with our unknown, it makes the letting go possible.
Corrie Ten Boom has an inspiring and true quote, “The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something and enter God’s realm where everything is possible. He specializes in the impossible. Nothing is too great for his almighty power. Nothing is too small for love.” Prayer is where we connect with the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to obey the command in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” God is in the process of lovingly molding us into the image of His Son. He has assured us he has a plan and a purpose for our lives and even though we cannot understand why He would allow our present situation to happen, we can trust Him and let go and be open to what He presents to us in the future.
Prayer is the place where we can find true rest for our bodies, souls, and minds. When the uncertainty of the future creates chaos and anxiety, when the cares and worries overwhelm us, we can run into God’s presence, crawl up on His lap, rest our head against His chest and listen to his words of grace. Listen as He lovingly says, “Cast all your cares on [me] for [I] care for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) “My child, come to me, [when] you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) There are many, many more beautiful promises like this that God speaks to us in His word. Prayer is as much about listening to God as it is about talking to God so listen to His words of grace, mercy and love and find rest as you struggle to let go. I have heard it said that two truths we learn from our brokenness are our own limitations and God’s unlimited grace. Let go and rest in His unlimited grace knowing He has a plan, and it will be different, and it will be good.
In addition to the gifts of trust and rest, prayer is a place where we can celebrate.
That may sound counterintuitive, because what we are being asked to let go of is so precious to us and makes us sad to lose it. But if we choose to recall God’s gift of grace from the past, we can celebrate His faithfulness just like the prophet Jeremiah d) aid in Lamentations 3:21-23, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” If we can celebrate His faithfulness in the past, we can be sure His love and compassion will be there in our future no matter how different it is from our past and we can begin to celebrate the new season of life that lies ahead of us. If we choose to see our new reality (as difficult as it might be) as an opportunity to experience the miracle of “walking on the water,” we can find reasons to thank and praise God as we let go.
Letting go is indeed one of the most difficult things we can do, but if we will just open our hands to release what we had, He will fill them with more than we can ask or imagine.
I am going to leave you with a list I saw online of things we can let go of that will help make our lives healthier and stronger. This has been a powerful reminder to me and blessed me. I pray it is a blessing to you as well.
10 Things to let go of:
1. Regret over past mistakes
2. Toxic people in your life
3. The need to be right
4. Feeling sorry for yourself
5. Negative self-talk
6. Need to impress others
7. Limiting your beliefs
8. Need to please everyone
9. Gossip and complaining
10. Worry about the future.