I took this photo about a year ago, and it has quite a story to tell. When I moved to Lynden over three years ago, there was a wonderful place that I could walk each day. One day on my walk, I saw this leaf stuck on the barbed wire fence. It was green at the time, and held there by the barb in the wire. I just stopped and looked at how it was hooked, and then went on with my walk. However, the picture, for some reason, just stuck with me. I would walk by there each day and it was still hanging on. Each day it would get a bit drier, a bit more crispy and began to turn the color of fall. But over and above that… it was STILL there. As I thought about that leaf, two ideas came to mind and I thought this is something I need to write about, but it never got down on paper.
So, in the last several weeks, as circumstances in my life made me think again of that leaf that wouldn’t let go, I thought I need to write it down. The interesting part about this leaf? It stayed through the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer seasons for well over 2 years! Curled now, but secured by the barb. So what were the thoughts that came to mind?
- Number one, Satan loves to get his digs deep into our hearts and minds, and he doesn’t easily let go of us. In fact, he can have such a hold on us that even the high winds of winter and the snow won’t loosen the grip. Just like this leaf made it through all those high winds of one particular winter season, it still remained entangled. As the leaf curled up, so can our lives wither if we don’t have a grip on the hand of the Lord. We will let the struggles of everyday life engulf us, and we can no longer feel the Son. Others may even try to help us loosen the grip of the struggles, and yet we don’t let go.
- Number two, God is also One who never let’s go of us. The storms may hit, winds may blow, the chilly winters come but He never let’s go of us. He will put His arms around us and protect us and help us hold on. And when I am ready, He will help me let go. I never saw when that leaf finally gave in and let itself be taken where it needed to go, but I know it did because it is gone. God will keep us where He wants us to be, and when the time is right, He will let the wind of the Holy Spirit carry us to the place He wants us to be. We may have a scar or two from the barb, but it doesn’t keep us from going where we need to go, and because of that scar, we may be able extend a hand of understand, to another.
I need the determination of that leaf in this season, whether it is to not be caught in satan’s snare, or to remind me not to let go of God’s hand. You see, if I had tried to help that leaf to let go, it would have broken to pieces. That is what satan wants; to break us. But God… God wants to encourage us to hold on and never let go of His hand and He will gently help us let go of what we need to let go of in order to travel where He wants us to go.
Isn’t it interesting that God uses the simplest of things to lead us if we are just aware of what is around us, and we listen to His voice. That leaf stayed right there for over two years! So… your season may not be a short one. Hang on! If you do that, you won’t fall to pieces, and He will give you what you need to hold on to Him. Are you watching? Are you listening? Let go of what you need to let go of, but never let go of His hand! God help you to that end.
Walking the journey with you…