When you have to let go of something, but aren’t sure what it is…
We’ve all been in that place before… the one where we are at our wits end. We are stretched to our limits. The final straw has fallen. No matter how tough we once thought we were, we are finding… we were wrong. We’re not invincible, and we can no longer continue going on with things as they are.
We may not know what to attribute our chaos to; we just know that something’s got to give. We have to let go of something, and there are a million and one things we can choose to let go of, any of which would instantly diminish our despair.
We could let go of that extra class that’s making our semester unbearable, or those extra shifts we’ve been working, trying to save extra money. We could let go of the time that we’ve been spending around certain people who drain us, rather than fill us up. And, any of these can be reasonable choices.
But, many of us, in our confusion, choose the wrong things to let go of. In our broken marriages, we choose to let go of our vows, and the person we once promised to cherish. We choose to let go of the beliefs that are too convicting for us to keep believing. We choose to let go of our ideals, simply because life has made them feel heavy. And, we try to justify it, saying, “God would never want me to endure this. He just wants me to be happy.”
That’s funny, because it almost seemed like God was interested in something else when he put Daniel in the lion’s den, or when He allowed Joseph to be sold by his brother’s to slaves, or when he let Jonah get swallowed up by a whale, or when He let the children of Israel wander through the desert for years before ever seeing traces of a promised land. He seems to not have very high regard for our personal levels of comfort, and to care far more about how we turn out.
And usually, He puts us in these trying situations because, in order for us to turn out right, or to get where we need to be, something has got to give – something that we would otherwise never let go of if we weren’t forced to choose. Sure, it’s painful, but it’s necessary for change.
On the show, The Biggest loser, my wife and I have watched many contestants talk about how this painful place marked the moment when things finally changed for them – they finally woke up to the reality of the dark hole they were in and found motivation to rise up from it.
In your own life, try to see how your discomfort could be a birthplace for something new, rather than a place where an old idea dies. Try to see how you can lighten your load by letting go of something negative, rather than positive.
What’s weighing you down? Your first impression may be that it’s your spouse or your job or your kids or your beliefs. Maybe you’re even tempted by the instant sense of relief you’d gain by lessening your grip on any of these things. But, be careful. What are you REALLY supposed to be letting go of? What is the BAD weight that’s holding you down?
To start, what about your pride? What about your selfishness? What about your own laziness or bad attitude or bad perspectives? What about your own personal ambitions that are getting in the way of God’s ambitions for you? Does it seem crazy to let go of these things? It shouldn’t.
Aren’t we told that if our hand or foot causes us to stumble, we should cut it off? Or that if or eye causes us to sin, we should pluck it out? Maybe it’s not so drastic. The Word is full of messages in which personal comfort parts ways with perfect truth.
Before you ever even THINK of letting go of God or your spouse or your sometimes imperfect family of fellow believers, you should troubleshoot your problem by starting with these much simpler fixes first. Chances are, the thing that’s got to give in your life isn’t the thing you’re tempted to let go of. Sorry.
I know… you’re tired. You’re just done. You’re sick of even thinking about any of this anymore. But, that is all the more reason to be careful with any changes you make in your beliefs, or any people you choose to accept the influence of. These days, you will be able to find people who agree with any opinion you adopt, no matter how off-base it is. Consider the verse in 2 Timothy. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Does this message have any personal relevance in your life right now? If it does, how so? Do you feel like something’s got to give? Before releasing your grip, make sure that you are certain… you know what it is.