One day, some years ago, I found a precious something that became important to me for awhile. It was a little ‘gift’ God brought my way when life had been very difficult. I’d needed something to hold onto and this seemed perfect. A visit to our Christian Bookshop had brought me a few treasures. Not least of them was a small glass pebble. The pebble was translucent; brown in colour. The words printed on it spoke deep into my heart.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:4” was what it said.
Only a few days before, God had spoken to me as I’d sought Him over my difficult circumstances. This same verse had leapt out at me and struck me forcibly. He was asking me to be still. Not to fret. Not to be anxious. But simply to be patient, trusting Him to work things out for me. I knew that in His time, He would work things out for my good. And so, when I saw the same words a second time on that little stone, I knew I had to buy it.
It didn’t cost much. But for me at the time, its value was far exceeded its price. I’d often take it out of my bag, look at it and reflect on what it said. It brought me comfort, reminding me that God was in control and that I was wise to wait on Him, trusting Him to work in my life. I treasured it for years. After some time, the writing on the pebble faded. A bit disappointing. But the stone still remained precious for what it signified. I loved fingering it. It was a reminder to me that God was working His purposes out in my life.
Fast forward five years after I’d bought the stone. I was shopping one day when it occured. Several of the contents in my bag accidentally fell out. Hastily, I picked them up. I found my house keys and my car keys. What else had dropped? I looked around. As a customer in the store passed by, his foot inadvertantly kicked something – something that sounded like a little pebble – and it rolled away under the magazine rack. Of course I knew what had gone rolling under. My precious stone.
A little old lady stopped to help me. We peered behind the magazine rack. But it was hard to spot anything there. I felt God tapping on my shoulder. ‘Let it go, Anusha’ He said. “Let it go.”
“Let it go, Lord?” I asked. I believe the Lord smiled. Then He nodded. I was loath to let it go. I wanted to keep it for ever. I wanted the comfort of the promise the stone gave me each time I looked at it. But God was saying different.
You see, I didn’t need that stone any more. God had worked above and beyond what I’d asked Him for. Many of my prayers had already been answered. The season of its usefulness had passed.
Now, God wanted to trust Him without that stone. Could I do that?
Yes, of course I could. I smiled with God and agreed with Him that yes, I didn’t need the stone any more. I would let it go. I would instead trust in God alone.
There are many times in our lives when we cling onto Things. Or People. Or Memories. Trophies. Accolades. Power. Prestige. Even Pain. Sadness. Unforgiveness. Worry. Clinging onto stuff seems almost the right way to live?
But God wants us to let it all go. The problem is of course that nothing is ours to keep. And that we don’t need any chains. We live best when we live in freedom. We don’t need to cling onto people, possessions, power or prestige but simply to walk in the freedom Christ came to give us. Sad to say, we human beings often seem to find security and hope in the wrong places.
Sometimes He brings blessings into our lives to help us through a difficult patch. And that’s not a bad thing. We are helped greatly through those blessings. But then suddenly He might take those blessings away. And that’s not a bad thing either. A lot of my learning and growing has occurred when the rug was pulled out from under my feet and I was forced to trust in Him alone. Sometimes He brings people into our lives to help us. But then He may take them away too because our need for their help has ended.
I remember a time when God seemed to prise everything I valued in my life. ‘Let them all go!’ He said. It was a painful time. But also a time of great freedom. Opening our hands and untying the cords that bind us is very freeing isn’t it? It was a new beginning. You see – the season of pruning gave way to a season of deep blessing. Blessings I would not have known unless God had not forced me to let go of those things that held me back from a closer walk with Him. I realised afresh the truth of a well known poem.
“God cannot fill hands that are already full. “
Are you holding onto something today? A Dream? A Person? Something you Like? Or even something you Don’t like? Like Worries and Cares which you might feel you need to carry? It could be that the time has come for you to let whatever it is adrift? Having people and possessions in our lives is good. And may bring value into our lives. But they are valuable to us only as long as they are given to us by God. They remain blessings only as long as they don’t take the place that only God can fill. What do I mean by 'letting go'? I mean letting go of placing too much importance on it. Or thinking too much about it. Or allowing it to rule everything else in your life. Does that make sense?
Perhaps you’ve heard Him asking you to do so before – but have not wanted to heed his whisper? Are you ready to let it go? Your hands may feel empty for awhile and your heart too. But you can be sure that when something is taken away – God is present to fill those spaces with Himself.
Perhaps it’s time to let go?