Separating and letting go are so different, yet so much alike. You can separate and never let go but you can also do the opposite. What about doing both? Most instances of one includes the other, we just don’t (want to) do it. We’ve already talked about Separation and what God might be urging you to separate from and now that those things have been identified, how about letting go? Have you let go of those things yet? No time like the present! Not worry, you’re not alone in this process. I, too, must let go, painful as it may be.
Think of a garden, flourishing with lush flowers, bursting with color. Among that beauty, below the colored petals, weeds grow, camouflaging themselves amongst the grass and greenery. Stealthily, the weeds suck the nutrients from the fertile soil of the earth, the soil which God has lain for his garden to grow. In time, the soil will dry up and the colors of flowers will fade, leaving brittle ground, dried grass and dead flowers. You, my friends, are the flowers and within the soil are all the bountiful seeds you’ve sown. That Saturday you took off to help your friend move: seed. That night you spent scrunched into an uncomfortable chair at the hospital to keep your loved one company: seed. That late night phone call you answered to pray with someone whose heart was hurting: seed. That long drive across town you provided so that someone else could benefit from the vehicle you are blessed with: seed. The hugs you’ve given, the tears you’ve wiped, the money you’ve “loaned,” the requests you’ve obliged: seed, seed, seed, seed. God is the soil and though he provides the seeds, it’s up to you to sow them…and you have. However, it only takes a single weed to start the destruction of your harvest.
Let it go. Pull the weed.
The uprooting might hurt, you may cry while you do it but once it’s done, your garden will look as though the weeds were never there and beauty will grow in its place.
They (those who forget God) are like weeds springing up in the sunshine, invading the garden, spreading everywhere, overtaking the flowers, getting a foothold even in the rocks. But when the gardener rips them out by the roots, the garden doesn’t miss them one bit. The sooner the godless are gone, the better; then good plants can grow in their place. Job 8:16-19 MSG
Unfortunately, this is not a one time deal. There will be one weed after another and you’ll have to continue to “prune” so that you can reap an abundant return. Letting go looks different to everyone because we all must release something unique to us, even if the thing itself isn’t unique. It’s all relative. For you, it may be a memory, a relationship, an item, a feeling. Maybe you have to let go of a dream or desire. That’s not to say that all you’ve ever wished for will never be yours. I believe it’s the exact opposite. I think God will grant us what we’ve dreamed and desired–after all, he gave us most of them in the first place–but instead of giving them to us while they’re still weeds (or while we are) he wants to grow them…grow us into something beautiful first. He wants to add to the garden, not suck the life out of it.
I had a very different plan for my life and I know I’ve said it before but it’s the truth. In my younger years, when tradition meant more to me, I wanted to be married, buy a house, have a couple of kids, be doctor. All of this is so laughable to me right now. I got about two out of four of those. Pursuing my dream over Christ, didn’t seem costly, at the time, but it was. I may have gotten a couple of the things I wanted but I also got the nightmare of divorce, foreclosure, the inability to have children or finish college, let alone go to medical school. I don’t believe all of the negative affects were “consequences” of my choices (though some were) but detours, results of some else’s free will, and ways that God steered me away from fates worse than these.
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matthew 6:33 MSG
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 NLT
I’d gone about it all wrong. I didn’t pursue God or ask what he wanted for me, I only concerned myself with what I wanted, what I dreamed. That’s not to say that I regret any of this because I don’t. I, realistically, wouldn’t choose it for myself but I’m not sorry it happened either. At a point, when my marriage deteriorated, my body was stricken with disease and my heart had broken over a few things, I began gravitating towards Jesus. Well, by then, I’d already dug myself into a trench. The good news is: you’re never too far down to start climbing. God has an ever extended lifeline.
We are assured and know that, God, being a partner in their labor, all things work together and are fitting into a plan for good to and for those who love God and are called according to his design and purpose. Romans 8:28 AMP
We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose. Romans 8:28 CEVD
No, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows after that, I had to pull some weeds and then some more and more after that. One of my “weeds” was a relationship. It wasn’t Christ centered but Me centered, him/her centered. Other “weeds” were the house I’d bought, the ideal I’d dreamed and the children I’d never have. The ‘not having kids’ thing and the broken heart, took the longest to let go of. However, on this day, at this time of my life, God knew that I wouldn’t want to be saddled with a house and mortgage. He knew that I wouldn’t want kids that I couldn’t give back (wink). Most of all, he knew I wouldn’t want a spouse that wasn’t following him. It was okay then for me to dream those things, just as it is for you envision (and pursue) your desires. I’d like to encourage you, however, to keep an open heart. Allow other desires in and some out, it could turn out to be a greater deal than the one you’ve packed for yourself.
Although my life is still a work-in-progress, I dare say, God is putting together a dream I hadn’t the guts to form. In his infinite wisdom and his wondrous, mystical ways, he’s made plans for my life that suites my core being better than I could’ve imagined. When you “give in” to God, he makes you ready, he prepares you, he sets your course. Obedience pays! I gave in to him. I threw my hands up and said: “Here, you take it!” Whether out of desperation or exhaustion, it doesn’t matter, I accepted and let go. Perhaps not always on initial instruction but I did it, nonetheless. Now, when he instructs me to prune or weed, I get out my tools, slip on my gloves and start yanking. Sometimes I whine (or cry), most times I’m sad but I also realize the value of what Christ has done in me. If it comes to choosing Christ over some other person, place or thing…I choose Christ. I haven’t always before but now that he’s shown himself to me over and over again…now that he’s doused me in favor and drowned me in his faithfulness, I can surely and forever choose him. He’ll do the same for you, if you allow it.
The Weed Wacker