How good are you at letting go? Sometimes, despite my best efforts, I worry about what’s to come. I think we’re all feeling some of that “what’s next” fear right now in this season of our lives. Maybe it’s parenting and letting go a little more each time our children get to another stage, or letting go of one job to move to another, or wondering whether there will even be a job when the dust settles on COVID-19, or retiring, or turning the page with an elderly parent. No matter what it is, change can be daunting.
Part of me wants to hold on, to control the situation or revel in the mundane of what I’ve grown to know. As Jesus approached his last days, he taught some important lessons about letting go. Here are some things we can do when it’s time to loosen our grip.
- Jesus made the most of every opportunity. Whether it was watching people put offerings in at the temple or dealing with someone trying to test him, Jesus used every opportunity to teach God’s ways. We may only have sporadic opportunities to pour into the people in our lives, so it’s important to take advantage of the opportunities we have.
- Jesus prayed for his disciples. Jesus knew Peter was going to stumble. He told Peter that he prayed Peter’s faith would not fail. We need to pray the Word takes root in other’s lives and bears fruit. And we need to pray that when and if they stumble, God restores their faith.
- Jesus taught by example. Maybe you’ve seen the meme that reads, “What would you do if you had 24 hours to live? Jesus knew he was going to die, and he washed his disciples’ feet.” The apostle Paul wrote at least three times that those reading his letters should imitate Jesus (1 Corinthians 4:16,11:1; Philippians 3:17). As we go out of our way to serve Christ and his church, stand for the truths of God, and serve one another with love, we set an example for whoever is watching. Pray that God opens their eyes and follows us as we follow Christ.
- Never give up. When people walked away from Jesus, he found others to pour into. We keep pouring into others regardless of the results. Sometimes people rebel for a season. Like the Father in the account of the lost son, we can stand ready to welcome the lost back when they return. In the meantime, we continue steps 1-3 with whomever God puts in our circle.
My heart is with you as we are all living in a season of letting go. I’ve found when I pray for God to help me adjust, he is faithful to answer that prayer. May each of us loosen the grip and graciously walk into whatever is next.