“Just try to relax”.
My chiropractor says it ever week when I visit his office; yet ever week I struggle to relax my muscles and allow him to do what is necessary to realign my spine and make me feel better.
It’s not hard to figure out why---you see, it’s not that I don’t trust him. Quite the opposite. The truth is that I’ve known my chiropractor and his wife for over 20 years and I’d trust them with my life. They are both kind, godly, amazingly giving people who have proven themselves faithful over and over again to me and my family.
It’s not that I don’t think the adjustment will help. Again, it’s the exactly opposite—I KNOW it will help and make me healthier, stronger, and eventually it will relieve my pain. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t be paying for it!)
The problem is that before we get to “eventually” I know there may be some momentary discomfort. Even though I tell myself over and over again, “Just relax and let the doctor do what you’re paying him to do---what you asked him to do---what you know is good for you”, there is still a part of me that wants to remain tense and fight the adjustment.
Yet it isn’t until I force myself (and my muscles) to relax and stop fighting the manipulation that the doctor can do what he needs to do. Knowing this, I force myself to just “loosen up”---trust---relinquish my control. Before long, the momentary pain is over, and I’m on the road to recovery.
The other day, the Holy Spirit brought this picture to my mind when I was struggling in His hands. For some reason still unknown to me, a very difficult situation was allowed to come across my path. As I processed the information realizing what was taking place, I felt my back tighten and my legs started to shake as I felt myself tighten up.
At the same time my mind was spinning out of control.
What was happening, what was I going to do, how should I respond????
Of course, being me, my mind went directly to the worst case scenario as I feared the gravity of the potential loss I was facing.
In the days ahead, the shock started to wear off and we began making decisions. Like anything in life, there were two sides to the scenario: the physical and the spiritual. The more we got into the decision making process the more I realized that I couldn’t go much further in the physical realm until I addressed the spiritual aspects and dealt with my heart.
The biggest issue I had to address was that I was holding on too tightly to something because I was absolutely petrified of losing it.
That’s when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “’Des, I understand how you feel, but you need to loosen your grip and turn this over to Me. You can’t control this. You need to give it over to me and allow every part of your life to rest loosely in my hands trusting that I will take care of you.”
That’s when I remembered my struggle at the chiropractor’s office. Just like I need to relax, trust, and allow the doctor to manipulate my spine, in this situation (and really in every situation) I needed to let go of the control and allow myself to relax in my Heavenly Father’s arms allowing Him to take in and out of my life whatever He wants whenever He wants.
I’m not trying to say that grief doesn’t hurt---I’ve experienced it enough to know that the pain is excruciating.
What I am saying is that we can’t be so afraid of experiencing grief that we hold onto people, things, or circumstances with a vice grip because we’re afraid of losing them. Because whenever we do this, the thing that we are so desperately trying to hold onto becomes our master and we become it’s slave being willing to do anything to keep. In the book, “gods at war”, Kyle Idleman takes it a step further and calls these things idols in our lives. However, when we allow the loves of our life to rest loosely in God’s hands, He remains on the throne of our hearts as we serve Him no matter what He allows.
So now I had a choice to make.
Would I continue hanging on for dear life doing anything I could to maintain control or would I turn the entire situation over to God and say, “Whatever You want, I trust You”?
For me, the only choice was the second choice. Because as much as I loved the thing I might potentially lose (and trust me, I LOVED it) I love God more.
Possibly more importantly, I know that He loves me enough to take care of me. I know that no matter what happens, He will sustain, restore, and continue taking care of me.
So I decided to place myself loosely in His hands and I turned the entire matter over to Him. In that moment things changed.
No, the problem didn’t go away and everything didn’t magically turn out okay right away. Still, I knew from that moment on that no matter what happened, everything was going to be alright.
Because I trusted Jesus.
….because I knew that He only does things for my good
…because I know that even if it “hurts” in the end, I serve a God Who will heal…
…I chose to let go and relax. To trust God and stand strong. Because no matter what happens, I know I can trust the One Who is in control.
What about you?
Are you holding on too tightly to something or someone today?
Is fear of loss controlling your life, causing you to make poor decisions, or even affecting your physical health?
Are you willing to let go and put whatever you’re holding into the hands of Jesus?
I know it’s hard. (You have no idea!!!) Yet, I’m also learning that it’s necessary. It’s the only way to love anyone or anything in a healthy way. It’s the only way to keep someone or something from becoming an idol in your life.
It’s a new road that I’m learning to walk one day, one minute, one second at a time.
Will you join this journey with me?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Lord, I come to You today with full hands. In fact, my hands are too full. I need to give these things that I love---the people and blessings You have provided---into Your hands and ask You to hold them for Me. I don’t want to hold on too tightly any longer. I don’t want anyone, any goal, any dream, any possession, or really anything at all to take the place that You should have on the throne of my heart. Father, I put every part of my life into Your hands and ask that You would lead and guide me in your ways. Walk with me as I trust You every step of the way. In Jesus’ name.