Monday, July 22, 2013

Waiting and Letting Go

Last week I wrote a letter to a friend lamenting. "I have been waiting... (for this, for that)" and ended it with "I'm letting go." So much disappointment can come when we try to hold too tightly to something or someone we don't want to lose. I was reminding myself that holding on can do more damage and create more hurt than that which I fear. Especially when we don't really have a choice.

So I hold memories. Sweet memories of the gift someone or something has been in my life. I go to that tender, nostalgic place to visit and I express deep gratitude for that person or experience or series of experiences. But I can't stay there. I need to let go.

Lately, though, while I knew I needed to let some things and people go, I also didn't really have a clear direction in which to move. It's like letting a balloon go, expecting it to fly away and it drops to your feet instead.

That's where it requires discipline not to pick it up again and instead, wait on the Lord for what comes next. Be still and know letting go was right, be still and know that God is God, be still and trust his plans for hope and a future. Be still and do the next thing: whatever is in front of me to do.
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752; Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1855
Read the words again. Dwell on them. Did you see it?

Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
from His own fullness all He takes away.
No one else completes me. No possession comforts me. No experience sates my appetite for the one God-shaped vacuum in my being. Only Jesus, in all his fullness and love can complete me (Colossians 2:10).

On Saturday my father in law sang a song for a friend's 80th birthday. On Sunday, the pastor for whom I work quoted the same song in his message on anxiety and fear from the story when Jesus calmed the storm.
All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

Frances J. Crosby 
And today, in a third reminder, a friend (who knew nothing of my feelings about "waiting" and "letting go") shared a new song with me. What are the words about? Waiting and letting go, allowing myself to surrender to the love of Jesus. I share it with you. Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, Joyce."Be still my soul; thy Jesus can repay from his own fullness all he takes away." I needed this reminder (from one of my favorite hymns) today.