Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One too many threads

Before you can experience the beginning of God's power you must come to the end of yourself. As long as you are holding onto even the slightest thread of control God's power cannot be manifested. The moment you let go - completely and entirely let go - God can take the reigns. He won't if we are still holding on - even if we are only holding them ever so loosely.
It is a shame the number of Christians and non-Christians alike who walk through life holding onto the threads that they believe are holding everything together. They hold in their hands thousands of strings for family, work, traveling, the future, church duties, and hobbies. Life becomes a juggling act of keeping a handle on all the threads without dropping one or pulling it to tightly. The weight of success lies strictly on that person's shoulders. If it fails it is their fault and if it succeeds it is their accomplishment.
Others have let go of some of the strings, yet can't seem to release their hold on others. They understand that their life at church is in God's hands. They let go of that thread - what a relief, one less thing to worry about. Maybe they even release the string that attaches to their safety. They trust God to keep them out of harms way and protect their family and children. Maybe this person has let go of their control of human relationships. Instead of always striving they have learned to rest in Biblical truths and teachings to guide their earthly interactions with family, friends and mere strangers. But still this person holds on to some things. They can't seem to let go of their job and their financial security. After all, they are dead meat without a good job and a 401k, right? Instead of trusting God to provide, they constantly put the pressure on themselves to make the right business decisions, work crazy long hours and do whatever it takes to make their career a success. This can be tragic. Despite giving relationships to God they can still suffer because of the strain of a workaholic in the house. Although this person may rely on God to get him to and from work safely they endure stress about the responsibilities of the work itself, limiting the peace they can truly experience.
When we refuse to let go of even the tiniest, thinnist thread, everything suffers. We can't hold onto one and expect that God will pick up the rest. We have to face the facts. To have God step in we have to step out entirely. We have to drop every thread. Then, and only then, will he be free to step in with his almighty power, ultimate wisdom and omniopentence.
I don't know about you, but his qualifications sound a whole lot better than mine. It's a mystery as to why we want to hold onto any strings in the first place. We have a God who is ready and waiting to take the drivers seat, take a firm hold of the reigns of our carriage and steer this ship! We should be jumping out of the way, scrambling to get a place in the caboose, relieved and thrilled to be on a journey where we don't have to constantly keep our eyes glued to the road ahead.
To experience this peace and this relief we have to come to the end of our human striving. It is natural to want to have control. We are fallen sinners, living in a fallen world that preaches work ethic and self actualization. Unfortunately, the world misses God's will and direction with all their "I can do it on my own" talk. Our society will discourage us from relying on God more than ourselves. They will think it is lazy and pure foolishness. But don't listen. Their eyes are blind to the things of God and their minds are darkened to truth. The Bible warns us of these opposing voices and encourages us to continue walking in the ways of the Lord.
Last night, as I laid down to go to sleep, I knew I was holding on to a string again. My worry and concern for my health was back on my shoulders. I had taken back control. At that moment I was feeling so weak that it dawned on me that I might not wake up in the morning. This thought had never occurred to me before. Despite an extremely low weight, low blood pressure and, at times, rapid heart beat, I've remained relatively strong. There has never been a day I haven't been able to walk, even if it is only for ten minutes. I have pushed through pain and discomfort and extreme fatigue. But last night I knew something in me was different. My breathing felt labored. My body felt like it had lost its will. This was a new sensation. I laid there for a few moments, processing my current circumstances. That is when I accepted that I might be at the end of my physical rope, my body may have been giving out. That is where my mind settled. From there I knew I had a couple of options: I could break down and cry because I was scared or I could let God have control of my feelings and go to sleep.
I choose the latter. I closed my eyes and got comfortable. In my mind, I simply allowed myself to be okay with not waking up, if that was God's will for me. I decided to let him have his way, and I stepped out of it.
Well, it doesn't take a genius to figure out how the story ends. I woke up this morning.
I didn't wake up feeling like a new woman with the energy of a toddler and the weight of a healthy twenty-two year old, but I woke up. When I opened my eyes I felt renewed spiritually. Physically I felt drained, like I hadn't really slept for eight hours. But spiritually I felt like I had a new peace that I had been missing the past few days. In that room the night before I had come to the end of my human control. I was faced with the fact that I couldn't keep myself alive any longer than God would ordain. In accepting that I released the right to myself.
I let go of my threads.
Now I can once again experience God's peace and his power. He can take hold of the reigns of my life and pick up every thread. I'm comfortably resting in the back seat. It has a big cushion and a warm blanket. God has even thought to put a pillow back here for the moments when my neck grows weary. His power is great and his understanding is beyond my comprehension. And, just think, this is only the beginning.

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