“Don’t Let Go” Can Be A Good Thing!

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…

Who Me? An Example?

Did you ever have your parents tell you any of the following?

  • You needed to be an example to your brother or sister.
  • They are watching you.
  • If you don’t do that, neither will he/she.
  • Show them how they are supposed to act by how you act.
  • They are younger than you so you have to show them how to act.
I don’t know about you, but I can remember wanting to ask my parents to look for someone else to show them how to act. It kind of makes me giggle a bit now, but I didn’t think it was funny then!

So what is it about us being an example that our parents hoped would carry over into our adult lives? Do you think they really thought WE were the only ones that would set an example to our siblings? I think it was an early lesson in taking the high road in situations where you wanted to react quite differently. I looked the word “example” up in the Vines Dictionary and it said, “a thing shown, tracing, writing copy, to make a show or expose, to teach, to show by example. Acts 20:35 , Jesus talks about giving us an example to follow and that He showed us what that example looked like. Let’s explore that idea a bit.

We have countless areas where we can be an example. We are always watched by someone. The saying that we might be the only Jesus someone sees? That is so true and so we want to be authentic in how we live. It’s not about the “appearance” of how we live, or what we show people through a Facebook status, or putting on our best face for Sunday mornings. It is about living as Jesus would live everyday. Jesus sees all. That means that when we are trying to put forth something we are not, He knows! We aren’t fooling Him! We can’t be an example without His help and we daily need to ask Him to show us how He wants us to be the example of Him in our daily walk.

So back to our parents…I think they already knew this when they asked us to be an example our brothers and sisters. They knew that one day, that we would have to on purpose live for Jesus with all its hits along the way. And when I share some of those thoughts with my grandson, Ethan, I kind of smile and say to myself, “Thanks Mom and Dad for your Godly guidance of how I should live.” 

You have power and influence and you may never really know how much. But people ARE watching. Bosses are watching, people you live with are watching, and so are you kids or grandkids. They are forming life opinions based on yours. Will you join me in this challenge of being authentic and honest in how we live out our days, whether at home, with friends, church, on the job, or in social media settings?

I hope that as I run this race called life, that I can look over and find you in the next lane running with me toward that ultimate prize!