By Lee D. Preston
Even thinking about this statement, “Let Go and Let God” brings anger to my heart. I know, it shouldn’t or should it? It just seems to me, that sometimes, we take hard, gut-wrenching, devastating times and try to boil them down to one “pretty” statement that will help our pain. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really help our pain or our fears. It really turns out, that it helps those around us feel better about handling our situation and gives them something to “say” during hard times.
Cynical right? Well, I don’t mean to be cynical or distrusting, just honest. I believe in the Lord Jesus with all of my heart. I trust my Father with my life, my hopes, my dreams, but I still, when trouble comes, wane in my faith sometimes. When your heart is troubled, when you are afraid it isn’t all going to work out, I propose to you that offering pretty “quips” about faith don’t help. “Let Go and Let God” in itself is truth; I’m not arguing the truths of it. I'm also not at all saying people aren't "well-meaning". I am only asking that we look at our hearts and see what we really feel when someone tells us of a life-shattering, world-shaking event. I think it really shakes our faith and so we don’t really know what to do?! So, we offer a “sugar-coated” statement like “Let Go and Let God” or “You know God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle” because we truly don’t know how to handle hard times and desperate moments.
It is here where I turn to one of the great Prophets of the Bible – Elijah. I love Elijah. He proclaims in 1 Kings 18 that he is the “only one of the Lord’s prophets left”. He also is bold enough (certainly by the Hand of the Lord) to set up one of the greatest showings of God on Mount Carmel. He challenges Baal and his worshipers to a contest of strengths against God Jehovah and of course, our God Jehovah wins! But what does Elijah do shortly after? He runs away, falls beneath a broom tree, and begs to die. Sounds familiar - great things happen and then comes the devastation. God doesn’t tell Him to just “Let go and Let Me”. He meets him there. He feeds Him and then He talks to him about how he is feeling and addresses his fears. He speaks to him in a whisper…He then gives him the next instructions and reminds him that he is not alone.
I love that about God… He does not talk in “bumper sticker” quotes. He is real. He meets us in our pain. I can tell you, I don’t know how to let go and let God. But I can tell you that each time He has allowed me to walk through something that hurts, that is scary, that is overwhelming, He has always walked with me. He then teaches me through each of these journeys how to let go a little more. I can’t do it on my own. But He loves me enough to teach me faith and trust in each moment. You can’t just “Let go and let God”; you have to learn to let go, to experience your Father’s love during the hardest times, then you can let Him.