By: Kristen L. McNulty
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Whenever I go swimming out at my aunts cottage this big dog comes down from one of the neighboring homes and always wants to play fetch. But this dog has a hard time getting the concept. Where he'll run so fast and go so far when you throw the stick, when it comes to bringing it back, he has a hard time letting go of it so you can throw it again. Sometimes I'll wait a few seconds and he'll drop it. But other times he'll stand there for minutes with the stick in his mouth, refusing to let go of it, even though he really wants to play fetch.
Sometimes I give up the game and go back into the lake, all the while he'll stand on the shore, whining. He knows what he wants but he refuses to let go of this stick to make it happen.
While I get a good laugh at this dog and his behavior, I can recognize a lot of human nature in his actions. While we may not enjoy playing one game after another of fetch, we too have a hard time letting go even when we know there are no other good options.
We run around like fools, clinging to things that we can't afford to hang onto, but we don't want to let go of our control at the same time. Like the dog that wants to play fetch, but doesn't want to let go of the stick, we want God's best for our lives and we say we want to follow where He leads, but when we run to Him, often we refuse to let go. We'll pace at His throne with our problems, but when He gently encourages us to drop them at His feet, we hang on for dear life to the very things that are robbing us of our lives here and now.
We see this with the girl who knows her boyfriend is not God's best for her, but she's so afraid of being alone that she won't let go of the relationship.
We see this with the student who knows they picked the wrong program, but is so hesitant about an unknown future that they continue full steam ahead.
We're so afraid of giving up our sense of control that we end up spinning our lives and the lives of those around us out of control.
I think sometimes God must look down on us and shake His head when He witnesses the messes we make of things all because we don't trust Him enough to fully let go.
So what's stopping you from laying it all down? It's so easy to surrender our lives to Christ, but to keep holding onto pieces at the same time. So what's stopping you from giving it all over to Him?
Yes it may be scary at first glance to stop scheming and planning and to instead trust "an unknown future to an all-knowing God" (Corrie Ten Boom), but really that's the only thing that makes sense. Who's better equipped to run our lives? Us who can barely keep track of all the details and whose wims and desires change from minute to minute? Or the loving God, our father, who knows us inside and out, knows what's coming tomorrow, and only has the best in mind?
Handing over control might be uneasy and might take a bit of courage to do, but if you really want to live free, that's your only option. And something remarkable happens when we do surrender it all. The circumstances might not change in an instant, but we do. Where once we were so precoouppied and worried, suddenly we are filled with peace, God's peace, and that peace that surpasses all understand guards our hearts and minds and keeps us sane even when we're battling the craziest circumstances in an insane world.
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