Monday, March 29, 2010

Letting Go

Letting Go
Written by: Conrade Yap
Date: 29 Mar 2010

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Last Sunday was a special one. Three members of the congregation came out to share about their testimony in Christ. One shared about how God guides through her friendships and relationships with peers. Another shared about how God guides through career decisions. Another shared about learning to trust God during difficult family trials. In all of these instances, the pastor pointed out a common theme: “Letting Go.”

Letting go is certainly an important element of trust. Without trust, there can be no faith. Without trust in God, whatever alternatives there are will lead us to a dead-end. In a sense, believers do not really have a choice. It is either choosing to trust God, or to curse God and blame God for all things. In an emotional condition, sometimes, those who are down and out will even deny their faith and walk away.

I thought about what disappointments mean in life. It is challenging. In fact, it is so challenging that at times, I find myself doubting God. I question the existence of God. If He exists, I question if He really loves me. If He really loves me, I ask why does He seem so far away?

This reminds me of the story of a pair of trapeze performers. One is a senior catcher, while the other is a junior jumper. The senior catcher waits for the junior to jump. The objective is to let the jumper swing from one end to the other end of the platform. For young trapeze performers, they rely on a safety net below to catch them in case they fall.

The catcher casually swings on his knees while waiting for the jumper. For a few times, the young jumper freezes up and tightens her arms to aggressively grasp the hands of the catcher. Each time she does that, she falls. Finally, the senior trapeze performer said to the rookie to relax and just ‘let go.’ She needs to trust that she will be safe even when she lets go. Realizing that her own fears are preventing her from improving, the young trapeze performer agrees to the suggestion. In her final try, she let herself go. She keeps her mind free. She is able to relax. As she loosens up, she extends her arms to be easily caught by her more experienced colleague. The performance was first class.

Isn’t this a wonderful metaphor for trust? Isn’t this the truth Jesus is trying to tell us, that in this world there will be many troubles? If we try to overcome the world on our puny little abilities, we will be frustrated. We will easily fall down. If we try to take control of all things, even the things that are not within our jurisdiction, we will be disappointed. We start to blame God unfairly. We start to hurt ourselves unwittingly. We start to hurt God unknowingly.

How about simply trusting God? How about letting go of our self-pride and unhealthy control? We need to first, take heart (do the jump), carry on our normal activities (swing on), and when the difficult times of life comes, where we cannot control the outcome, just let go and let God.

Remember, Jesus has overcome the world. If Jesus is for us, who can be against us?

Thought: If you find it hard to let go, why not attempt a period of unceasing prayer?


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