Thursday, December 13, 2012

Let Go

As the year of 2013 approaches, I find myself reflecting over the year that has been, and as I weigh the ups and downs I'm not sure whether or not I'm ready to embark on a new year just yet.  Though I've definitely grown closer to God through the tests, temptations, and trials that have been, I also find a part of myself wanting to regress rather than progress, and the further back the better.  In just one recent evening, I inundated my speakers with sounds reminiscent of my younger, less spiritually challenging days.  Among my selections were Savage Garden, Phil Collins, and even Cyndi Lauper.  It seems the 90's weren't far back enough, I closed my eyes and allowed mental time travel to take me back even to the 80's when my hair stood straight up and my greatest care in the world was which car Barbie should drive to meet Ken.  It's not that 2012 has been bad; on the contrary, it has been amazing, but it has been more difficult than not and I suppose my momentary return to the fetal position is just a whiny attempt to avoid continued growing pains that accompany spiritual acrobatics.  My most recent, and hopefully last, annual gymnastic feat of the spirit involved testing I never dreamed would come, when out of an unforeseen encounter my heart was insidiously catapulted from the present to the past and then forward once again. "Jesus, steady my feet," become my plea of recent days, and after a brief retreat to the oceanic views from Seal Beach, He finally did.  So, this year? This year, I let go.
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For a brief time recently, I allowed myself to be swept away in the rushing cascade of memories from days passed, questioning things like whether what could have been is actually what should have been.  What I've since discovered is the colossal danger in playing in such waters.  These are not falls any of us needs to stand under, no matter how exhilarating the downpour or sweet the remembrance, so if you're caught up in contemplations of your own in which your past begins to shake the foundation of your present, allow me to offer you some prudent counsel - go to the Rock that is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4) and take cover.  Allow yourself to remember, but forbid yourself to linger.  There's a purpose for why you're where you are and a reason your past didn't make it to your future.  Let it stay there and let go.

Is there something or someone you're hanging onto that you know God is telling you to let go?  I'm quite familiar with the heart's difficulty in saying goodbye, severing ties, and letting go in general, but in Christ Jesus, you can do all things (Philippians 4:13), and it is never His will for you to do it alone, for we are told in numerous places throughout Scripture that He is with us wherever we go.  Genesis 31:8, specifically, says "and the Lord, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed," but you have to do your part.  If you're relying on your own strength, I promise you that failure is inevitable because it is "not by might, nor by power" of man, but by the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6) that all good and righteous things are accomplished.  If you're not crying out to Him in prayer and asking for His help, then you'll be unable to hear Him when He tells you "this is the way, walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).  On the other hand, if you're doing your part, we are told in Isaiah 30:19 that "He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you." Don't hesitate or withhold your prayers so that you can continue in your sin by pretending God wasn't around to strengthen you.  He's there, but you have to want and ask for His help.

Only God knows how your 2012 has been and how your 2013 will be, but if you carry into the new year what He's telling you to leave behind today, the cascading waters of your past will eventually submerge you in darkness, and the swim to the top will become more difficult than you can imagine.  Don't give the enemy one more day of your time and mind.  Cry out to the Lord, and choose this day to let go. 

"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart..."  - Hebrews 3:15

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