25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
New International Version (NIV)
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Someone once said, "Getting over a painful experience is like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." I don't think this idea of "letting go in order to move forward" only applies to painful experiences. It also applies to situations where we don't want to give up our control. I've been thinking a lot lately of how things have changed since I was a kid. I used to play outside, basically unsupervised for hours on end. I used to walk to school or go other places by myself. But when I think about letting my kids do that, it scares me. I think about all of the "bad" things that could happen. They could be (insert list of "bad" things here) and that would be terrible if it happened. I don't think as much about the "bad" things I might be doing by not letting my kids go out and experience the world. Am I causing them to fear things unnecessarily? Am I taking away the opportunity for them to make decisions and gain a sense of responsibility? Are they overly dependent on me? Am I trying to control the situation when I should be trusting them to make the right choices? Am I trying to control the situation when I should be trusting God to take care of us all?
How can I (and how can they) move forward if I don't reach out for the next bar? Am I going to hang there forever? I suppose I could try, but eventually my arms would get tired and I'd have to let go. But stopping and letting go is different that letting go and reaching out to grab the bar that will move me forward.
Is there a situation in your life that's like this one? What are you holding on to that's keeping you from moving forward? It reminds me of the verse above. Let go of the fear. Trust in Lord. Move forward to the place He wants you to go.
Heavenly Father, So many of the prayer requests we've received in the last few weeks have to do with people who need to let go of something that it holding them back in some way. Whether it's bitterness over old wounds, test results, or fear over figuring out what You would have us do next, remind us to let go of those things that burden our hearts. Remind us to trust in You. Lord, this week we pray specifically for Camille, Lenora, Connie, Holly, Angie, Bob, Johnny, Mary, Evelyn, and Loretta. You know the things that are burdening them. Release them from any bitterness or anger. Allow the power of Your forgiveness to heal them both physically and spiritually. Reveal to them the direction You have for their lives. Give them the peace and strength to empower them to do whatever comes next. We ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.