Let Go and Let God
by Marnie Pehrson
Four years ago when my husband and I prayed and fasted for a solution to this challenge, the answer came crystal clear: "It will be according to your faith. Expect a miracle." Yet I struggled. Did I have the faith of a mustard seed that would move this mountain? Personally, I don't think I did or it would have moved instantaneously. The Lord took some time to build my faith step-by-step and line upon line. He taught me how to think, how to believe, and how to let go and let Him do the work.
I had my own ideas of how God should move this mountain, but His ways are not our ways. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says that, "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." It's not even logical that my mountain should move in the way it has. Who would think that your husband losing his job would be instrumental in delivering you from financial bondage? Yet, in my case it has been. And what's more is my husband is finally getting to do what he loves to do. He's happier, healthier and our family and marriage is stronger as a result.
You see, the Lord never helps one person when He can help more. I've had the wonderful blessing of being able to earn a living doing what I love, but my husband has not. He's been stuck in a dead end job that he hated and that wore on his health. The Lord took the last four years to teach me principles that would build up my business to a point where it could support our family. Then he delivered my husband from his miserable job -- a job he would have been too responsible to have quit on his own - and set him on a path for doing what he really enjoys doing. In the process the Lord lined up a series of financial solutions to move our mountain of debt until it is no longer a burden upon our backs or an obstruction to our progression.
As I watch this unfold before my eyes, I see the master genius in the works and designs of a kind, wise, loving Heavenly Father and of our atoning Savior Jesus Christ who is the "author and finisher of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2). As an author, newer to writing fiction than nonfiction, I can now understand Paul's wonderful analogy of the Savior as an "author" of our faith. A good author doesn't tell the whole story in the first chapter. He doesn't give it all away. He holds things back, revealing them as the reader goes along. A good author involves you in the characters, lets you feel what they feel, lets you put yourself in their position and learn with them. A good author writes the story so that you enjoy the journey of reading it. Then He wows you by tying up all the loose ends in a spectacular way.
The thing is that most of us don't want to live our lives like that do we? We somehow expect the Lord to tell us the end at the beginning. In a sense He has told us the end. For He promises, "that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). He just doesn't tell us HOW He's going to do it or WHEN it's going to happen. After all, wouldn't that ruin the story? All we really need to know is that there will be a happy ending in which we'll look back and say, "It was worth every bit of the struggle to be where I am today."
If we truly believed in a happy ending -- KNEW it would come -- then we could relax and enjoy the story, letting it unfold before our eyes. When I first started writing fiction, my books were action-oriented - moving from one event swiftly to another. But, as I grew in my ability to write, I learned how to weave a story that flowed more fluidly, which kept the reader engaged and turning pages without shifting them immediately from one event to another. As a result, the readers felt like they knew the characters better, felt more of their hopes, fears and aspirations, learned lessons with them, rejoiced in their triumphs and cried with their losses.
A customer pointed out to me the other day that I'm not a "human being," but a "human doing." She meant it as a compliment and a reminder. It gave me cause to ponder. I do a lot of things -- accomplish much, but do I take time just to "be" -- just to "enjoy the journey?"
Too many times we rush to the "event points" in the saga of our lives. We want to hurry to the moments when the house is sold, the new one built, the wedding day, the birth, the new job, the mortgage paid in full. We let ourselves remain anxious, frustrated, and worried in between. We waste the waiting period. But really, it's not a waiting period. It's your life! Those day to day moments between where you are and where you want to be are your life! They are the NOW moments. And NOW is really all you have. Everything happens in the NOW. Our Heavenly Father wants us to learn to enjoy the moment we're in, be grateful for it, and to make the best of it, as we remain ever grateful and faithful for "good things to come" (Hebrews 9:11).
His timing is perfect. He's a master author who knows how to weave a story that carries you along, spellbinds, mystifies and offers a magnificent happy ending. But for Him, there really is no end it's the story that never ends thanks to our Savior and Redeemer who died on the cross and rose the third day that we might live forever in His presence.
Of the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why questions that any good story answers, the only two you can control are the What and the Why. You control what you want from life. Jesus repeatedly advised, "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened." Ask specifically. You also control the Why -- your purpose. Why do you want the goal? All God requires of you is for you to maintain the vision of what you want, your purpose for attaining it, and your expression of gratitude that you will obtain it. The rest is up to God. He controls who is involved, when and where it will take place and how. Happiness comes when you stop caring about the questions God controls and concentrate on what you want and why you want it.
When I finally let go of the questions I can't control and decided that I knew absolutely for certain that God would make it all work out in the end -- even better than I could imagine it happening -- it all started falling into place. I have no delusions that my faith is perfect or that it can't grow more. The story isn't fully told, and I'm glad it isn't! I'm enjoying the journey and gratefully watching His masterpiece unfold before my eyes.
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2011, Marnie L. Pehrson, All Rights Reserved.