Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,
but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
So often it seems like growing older is a continuous process of letting go of one thing or another. As we see our youth slipping away, we also may lose our roles at home or work, ultimately our homes themselves, and many of our worldly possessions. Relationships also end as dear friends or spouses pass away and leave us grieving with hearts that just want to hold on, not let go.
For many of us, letting go of being in control is the hardest thing to accomplish. We are used to being independent and making decisions about our own lives, and we don’t want to lose that control, even when the time comes that we may need some help.
Overall, it’s good to take an inventory of our lives from time to time. We need to see if there is any situation, relationship, or attitude that we are holding on to with our fingers tightly clinched. If there is, we need to pray for the strength to hold it more loosely—or let it go entirely. After all, we want to keep our hands empty. If they are already full, they won’t be free to receive.
When the rich young ruler asked Jesus how he could enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus quickly saw that the man was too wrapped up in his possessions to surrender all for God. That’s why He told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor. The disciples were surprised Jesus would ask the man to give up so much. That’s why Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).
Jesus knew how hard it was for us to let go—not just of material things, but of all the attitudes, relationships and desires that keep us tied to this world. God wants us to let go of the things of this world and grasp on to the glories of the next. If we are afraid to let go, we miss the freedom God wants us to have. We also miss out on what God wants to give us in place of what we relinquish.
It’s much easier to let go of something we value if we think about placing it in God’s hands. Is there a relationship we fret about? Give it to God. Is there a regret nagging at us day and night? Give it to God. Is fear our constant companion? We need to stop holding on to it so tightly, and give it to God.
When we give things to God, we need to remember the poem about bringing something to God for Him to fix, but failing to give Him all the pieces. When we let go, we need to make sure we don’t hold anything back.
The freedom we experience when we let go of everything through prayer is a freedom those who insist on clasping tightly will never know. Just as we let go of material things, we need to let go of the emotional burdens that weigh us down. By giving it all to God, we are free to accept all the gifts He wants to give us. Everything we have belongs to God anyway. Once we acknowledge that in our hearts and give it all back to Him in prayer, we are free to enter into His presence unencumbered. Through faith, we can even let go of our earthly existence knowing that we can look forward to our eternal homecoming!
Join the conversation by adding your comments below.
What are some things you need to let go of?
by Nancey Brummette
Nancy Parker Brummett first led a Bible study in an assisted living setting in 1999 and she and the Lord developed The Hope of Glory in the years that followed. She also journeyed with her mother and mother-in-law through their adventures in aging, and her academic interest in aging led her to receive the Professional Certificate of Gerontology from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. The author of four other books, she now focuses her writing and speaking ministries on her passion for older adults and those who care for them. To learn more about Nancy’s life and work or to subscribe to her blog on aging issues, Take My Hand Again, visit her website.