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Give It Up?!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

These past couple of weeks I’ve been hearing this common message about not doing things on your own strength, “letting go and letting God do it”. As I sit here contemplating this idea in my own life (and why this message has been repeated so often lately) I’m not sure I can fully grasp this concept.

Two very similar images have been painted for me in the last few days. One of the footprints poem only with one set of footprints all the time instead just during the rough times. Saying that we should let God carry us through everything and so there should only ever be one set of footprints. The next image is of us hanging on a the edge of a cliff with both hands, begging for help and then there is God with his hand outstretched saying I got you, all you have to do is let go of the edge and grab my hand – I’ll do the rest.

The part I don’t get is the how simplistic this sounds to me. It just doesn’t seem realistic. I have so often in my life asked God to take over to take the lead to just take my life and even more times I have asked him to take pieces of my life. Yet, I still find myself having to do things myself. There are still times when I just feel like I can’t win the battle and I still struggle and I still fall. And I know I’m not alone in this. I don’t think it’s because I didn’t really give it up or that I’m not letting God guide me.

I know the rules, I know the language, I know the ideals, and I know what it means to be a follower of Christ. And I like this ideal, it sounds like bliss, but in my experience is just isn’t quite that simple. Even Paul speaks of the “thorn in his flesh”. I guess the part that doesn’t make sense to me is that it sounds like if we give our life over to God he will carry us through everything and we will no longer struggle. Yet, what I know as truth is that we will struggle and we should struggle but we need to rely on God to carry us through those struggles, we need to be willing to let God help us back up from the edge of the cliff. It’s not that we won’t fall again but that we learn the best, quickest, and easiest way back up after we do fall – by reaching out and grabbing our Saviour’s hand.

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  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:26 AM |  

    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -John 16:33

    Sounds to me like trouble is a guarantee! Thanks for the insights Dave.

    -Sabrina

  2. Blogger Nick Boschman | 11:00 AM |  

    The alteration in the footprints metaphor was an attempt at shock value as far as I'm concerned. If we believe that God is carrying us at all times then how does the sin issue relate. I am certain that God does not carry us into sin. Is he always with us yes, but I'm not sure how that relates to the footprints poem as a whole.

    Is it important to realize that we only need to accept God's love? Yes. At that point there will indeed be peace.

  3. Blogger Dave | 11:24 AM |  

    Please don't misunderstand the intention of this post. I am not meaning to argue against the images given to me (footprints or hanging off a cliff) I think both images made me think - which in my mind makes them effective.

    I think we, as Christians, sometimes answer questions of sin and struggle too simply. "Just give it to God" or "Just trust him and it will all work out". I think these asweres are pretty cold and insensitive. 'Cause sometimes it's just not that easy and these answers could imply that we have not actually given our issues up to God or that we are not trusting God fully.

    I think our response to adversity is much more key then whether or not we face adversity.

  4. Blogger Heidi | 12:45 AM |  

    Good stuff Dave.

  5. Blogger Jennine | 2:52 PM |  

    yep, you're definately not alone on this one. We all struggle with issues in life; it's a given. But God does promise to never give us anything more than what we can handle with him at our side. Like you said, the imagery may be simplistic, as are the concepts, but that doesn't mean the application of them will be as simplistic. I think that's also why God created us for community. That we might hold one another accountable to God, and act as a reminder of our need for dependence on Him.

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