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“There are times when it seems as if God watches to see if we will give Him even small gifts of surrender, just to show how genuine our love is for Him.”

Oswald Chambers

“You can go now. I’ll take good care of your kids.” Peace immediately flooded my heart as I heard those words which allowed me to release my oldest child on her first day of kindergarten. Anxiety had gripped my heart as I wondered if she would be safe, have fun, make new friends and learn a lot. The opportunity to let go of my daughter took place almost twenty-five years ago.

This past weekend a similar scenario played itself out. My husband and I were dropping off our daughter at Eppley airport as she headed to a two week school of worship at Bethel Church in Redding, California. As soon as she turned to go inside I began to weep. Of course I am excited for her to have this opportunity to grow spiritually and to hone her keyboarding gift. But I also grieve the possible loss if God moves her to another place. This time my wise, heavenly Father spoke gently to me, “You can release her now. I’ll take good care of her.” Peace was restored to my heart as I surrendered my daughter to God, knowing I can trust my Father who knows best.

I have been encouraged and challenged by my dear friend’s wise words, “Releasing your children to the purposes of God.” Releasing though is easier said than done. I know it in my head, but sometimes it takes a while for the revelation to drop down into my heart. Surrendering those you love is hard and can be a process. Time and time again I’ve placed my children on the altar, only to crawl back up there and take them off.

Even if you may not have children to release, our dreams and desires might need to be surrendered to God. What is it you’re clenching tightly with both of your fists? We let go of control when we pry each finger open, one by one, until both hands are turned upward, waiting for God to fill it with what He wants.

It’s silly, but every so often I think my control, trusting in myself, is a better idea than trusting in God, the one who is sovereign and controls all things. Releasing, letting go, and surrendering all revolve around trust. Trusting God is foundational to our spiritual growth. The more we unclench our fists and release control to God, the greater our intimacy with the Lord will grow. Jeremiah 17:7-8 is a wonderful promise to claim when you want to surrender your control to God and trust in Him. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  

This morning I prayed, Once again Lord, I release any tight grip I may have on my kids and I unfold one finger at a time. May my hands be loose and opened upward to Your will and Your ways. I want what You want Lord, for I know it’s the best way. Choose to release to God whatever you’re holding on to and watch Him nurture your tiny mustard seed of trust into a mature tree of faith.   

“Growth comes from God, to those with surrendered, yielded hearts.”

Mary E. DeMuth

Relevant Reflections:

1. What or who are you tightly holding onto with clenched fists?

2. Pry your fingers opened, one by one and release the control over to our trustworthy God.

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