Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Look Ye Saints"1 (Lyrics)
"Let it go!" These words interrupted my thoughts one day while wrestling over an issue which had begun to feel like a losing battle. My efforts to change the situation felt fruitless. With those words, "Let it go!" the light dawned: I saw that I had assumed a care which had become too much for me. This was harming me. How did I know that? Because it was robbing me of my peace, joy, and sleep; it was making me over-controlling. And that's bad. No wonder that Jesus cautioned His followers, saying:
Luke 21:34a – But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with … cares of this life. (ESV)
Subtly, I had become weighed down with cares of this life. I desperately wanted to make something important happen for me, and my efforts were failing. As I released my determined grip on this fruitless mission, my anxious strivings blew away as if by a summer breeze. A refreshing surge of peace washed over me. Perhaps, I didn't need what I thought that I needed. I knew that I could trust my God with the matter. God would order and provide for me; His love would never let me go. With this renewed assurance, my mind was lifted from my focus on earthly matters and was set on things above. Like the psalmist did, I would wait on God.
I didn't have long to wait, for God was quick to launch me into a familiar review lesson. You see, in the past, I've experienced such times when I needed to let go of a burdensome pursuit. Usually, I realized that it was too much for me only when I noticed the negative effect — notably, when I lost peace and joy, or when I felt discouraged or stressed out.
Those have been opportunities to stop and engage in some careful self-reflection, times to ask the question: Why do I take on cares that are too burdensome? I know. It's partly because of high expectations on myself and others.
For myself, I wish to do things properly, say the right words, and ensure that I'm understood. From others, I want things to be explained properly and managed correctly, with moral integrity, proper protocol, according to the best expertise, professional standards, and so forth. You get the picture.
These are not bad desires, for such ideals have helped to advance our civilization and to provide us with a sense of security. But how do we react when our expectations fail and people don't measure up?
If our main mission is to correct the situation or to make others see the light, then we risk taking on an unachievable goal. We risk drifting from God's best for us ourselves. These are times to hear those words, "Let it go!" — perhaps through a tender invitation from our heavenly Father, such as this:
- Bear not a single care thyself;
One is too much for thee.
The work is Mine and Mine alone;
Thy work is to rest in Me.
– Hudson Taylor
Prayer: Lord, as we release our care to You, open our eyes to see what You do with it — for our benefit and for Your glory. Amen.