“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…

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We Never Really Know, Do We?

How well do we really know someone? You think you do. You spend time with them,  sometimes you might even be very close friends with them, may live next door to them, or work with them. But what really goes on in the mind of someone who in this case, takes the life of his wife and two little boys? Yesterday, May 5, 2011 marks two years since a husband and dad took the lives of his family, and he was found guilty on all three counts. What goes through the mind of someone who could do that kind of thing? What happens to the God he knows is there, the love he once had for his family, and the sense of right and wrong? The rest of us are left to wonder…how could this happen? For myself, I knew him from working at the same place. Try as we might, it’s hard to get our minds and hearts around it.

Satan is such a deceiver. He can make us think what is wrong is right, what is black is white, and what was once evil is alright. Just one time, no one will know. Then, there is another and another. We might feel a bit of guilt, but satan blinds us so we are more focused on what WE want. We begin to ignore the presence of God in our lives or the voice of the Holy Spirit Who tells us it is wrong. We start thinking, we deserve to be happy, right? This marriage isn’t working out and it certainly isn’t what I thought it would be. I was talking with a friend today about sin and she shared what she learned from a study: “Sin will take us further then we ever dreamed possible.” When we reach that point,  we become a puppet in satan’s plan, and jump to his promptings. Suddenly, the eyes of the heart do not see God in the equation anymore, and we are going down that slippery slope faster and faster, justifying ourselves as we go.

We may ask ourselves, “Should we be happy that he got his due?” There are some who say, “Yes, he got what he deserved!”  And yet, those of us who know our God, know that he is lost in a world of deception. My sensibility says, he should receive the discipline of the verdict that came down and rightfully so. But I can’t help also feeling so sad that he let satan talk him into the lie, and he actually participated in satan’s plan. He took the life of those who loved him and had so much potential for the Lord’s work. Thankfully, we know that God graciously received them into His arms. No more tears, anger, sadness and rejection; just a joyous reunion with their Heavenly Father.

Let us remember that we, too, can so easily allow satan a foot hold in our lives through many different circumstances. We don’t have to take someone’s life to be in a pit of sin where we are accelerating toward disaster. Be wise as serpents and ask God to give you wisdom daily to discern His voice from the evil one. His schemes can come in slowly and sneak in the door of  your life. Don’t get lazy in your thoughts and actions. Be intentional in keeping your life in line with God’s will everyday. God is a just God. The husband and father will stand before God, his Ultimate Judge someday, and I wouldn’t want to be him standing before God in this matter. But I will also face Him one day for my sins also. I have the power to change the outcome with God’s help.

Rest in the loving arms of your Heavenly Father, Sheri, Gavin and Garett. God, give us strength to face each day in thankfulness for the promise that YOU never let go. If we have lost our way, it is because WE have let go of Your hand. As for me, hold my hand tight Lord, hold my hand tight!