Ever pick up a handful of sand and let it sift through your fingers? Maybe you’ve done the same thing with water, or you wanted to take a drink and by the time your hands made it to your mouth you had very little water left. Clinching your hand may hold things tight but too tightly squeezes contents out as it gets tighter. Holding things in your hands can be fairly effective if not counting on a tight seal or possibility of crushing whatever you are holding onto.
We’ve all heard the term “not letting things slip though our fingers/hands”. Many times that refers to hopes, dreams or goals we may have made that seem harder to achieve than most, though deeply desired…deeply disappointing when they don’t happen. The Robert Burns quote “best laid plans of mice and men…” was originally “schemes”, not “plans”. That is a more honest way to look at how WE plan things. You may have heard, “Man plans, God laughs”. THAT I agree with more heartily.
Have you ever had plans you thought were really solid ideas, pretty much certainties? Finally!! (Cue sunshine on face and angel choir Ahhhh-ing) You were pretty much counting on them working out your, uh eh hmmm, God’s way, hopefully in your timing. You start to shoe-horn your plans into the different shoes God’s sized up for your spiritual journey. Then you find those very things not happening your way in your time, like smoke evaporating right before your eyes. You might even start to reason it out and adjusting your timeframe like some end times prophet who’s date has come and gone. You speculate how delaying it may be God’s way of doing your way His way.
I remember years ago I was offered what I believed to be my “dream job”. What I failed to recognize was my DREAM job was NOT God’s VISION for my life. I lived through it in drawn out painful experiences while God protected and preserved me for later placement me into HIS will and plans. Reality was at that time I wasn’t faithfully handling the little things God gave me let alone managing the things I took from God that He was suppose to be handling. There is truth in God saying “My ways are NOT your ways…”
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
A while back there was another saying Let Go – Let God. That sounds pretty good, almost religious, but it isn’t always easy and not always right. Often letting go and letting God lends itself to a more laissez faire saying “Que sera sera” (Whatever will be, will be). Basically a shrug of the shoulders and a “whatever…” attitude.That isn’t how to look at it either. Thinking “God will do what God will do” often tosses faith, submission, obedience and exciting expectation out the window leaving Spiritless compliance.
There is a big difference between sand slipping through our hands and actually intentionally letting go of it. Same with our plans, dreams slipping from us and simply coping. It is not the same as giving our desires to God. Who is making the initiative. Accepting or putting up with things taken from us is one thing but when we willingly give or let go of something we show the intent. God wants us to have a heart willing to sacrifice what we believe is best for us to Him who knows what is best for us. That means to lay all on the altar in order to alter our hearts. Essentially we are not to be “hands off” about ‘letting go”. We need to take a knowing and active part in opening our hands and giving it to God.
Sometimes we feel God is punishing us by taking things away from us. It’s as if He’s taken something we think He gave us when really we put it there hoping God blesses it. He’s not going to snatch it from us like some bully to show you who’s boss. He’s not there with a pin to burst our balloons. He just knows what is best for us to accomplish what He has in store for us. There is a reason for you “casting” it to Him. Your release is many times the first step to your relief!
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.
God knows we’re worried about our lives, our goals…the future. How many verses do we read about being anxious…worried…stressed about everything and God saying He’s got this covered? Can you trust God with your plans? Do you really think you’re currently handling them better?
What are you holding onto that you need to let go? Are you holding onto ashes you thought were gold? Are you holding onto everything just to be losing control? Are you willing to open your hand and not simply offer it to God waiting for Him to take it BUT to give it to Him. Here God, take it…I’m letting go…it’s Yours to do what you want…in fact God, YOU can have it ALL, I AM YOURS, take ME. It’s time to let it go…I’m letting go. God’s got big plans (or maybe very needed tiny ones) of His own just for you.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Be Blessed, Be Bold,
~ Pastor Steve