Letting Go

Genuine Faith

Genuine faith says, “Not my will, but yours be done.”

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Autumn, Fall, Leaves, Orange – Free Image on Pixabay …

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The Most Difficult Prayer

Blog_PrayerThe other day, my irresistibly charming son started showering me with hugs and kisses while I was in the midst of folding laundry. “You’re my best mommy ever,” he smiled, looking into my eyes while working his awe-inspiring dimples to the max. My heart was melting after a few minutes of his seemingly innocent compliments. That’s when he popped the question. “Will you let me drive the car?”

I’m not sure he understood when I told him he has more than ten years before he’s old enough to get a drivers’ permit. As he walked away, looking dejected, I wondered what his little mind had envisioned when he asked me to let him behind the wheel. And I wondered whether his initial compliments were part of his childlike ploy to get what he really wanted.

How often do we come to God with ulterior motives? We claim our hearts are filled with love and adoration, when really we just want something from him. Our prayers become tools of manipulation, as if we could strong-arm God into doing our will.

There was a time when I desired to have a little house, just big enough for my family and some guests. In the midst of praying for our needs to be met, I learned that a genuine prayer of faith includes the more difficult phrase, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” Modern faith movements would tell us to demand what we want, but true faith believes God has our best interests in mind, whether or not his answers align with our desires.

As for me, I’m glad I prayed that prayer. Not having the burden of a house has enabled us to give more to those who truly need it. When it came time to adopt our son, we didn’t have debt holding us back. My husband was able to go back to school to nurture his artistic gift, and I was able to get my teaching certificate. We’ve both been able to work at a non-profit school, doing what we love at a lower-than-average salary. And we’ve had time to invest in our kids during their most sensitive years. None of this would have been possible if I had demanded something of God we didn’t really need.

When I think of my son’s request, I laugh because I love him and I know he loves me. He’ll grow and he’ll learn. But for those of us who’ve been walking with God for years, it’s time we learn to let go of what we think we need. It’s time to mature in faith. Prayer is a time to align our lives with his desires, not to demand our way. It’s when we say with genuine faith, “not my will, but yours be done.”

 

Photo Credit: Free Series Graphic: “Sweet Hour of Prayer” www.churchleaders.com

Precious Things

Blog_FlowersinHand

Nothing this side of heaven is permanent. It’s in vain that we cling to that which is destined to fade away. What’s most precious to us gains far greater value when given away.

Source: Hold on Loosely

Photo Credit: Flower and open hands | Flickr – Photo Sharing! by einstraus

Hold on Loosely

Blog_HandsLettingGoI keep thinking about that lost little boy I crossed paths with last week. My heart feels heavy to think he was lost to begin with, but also grateful God orchestrated everything so perfectly for him to be found before anything horrible could happen. And at peace, now, to know he’s safe with his family.

The most powerful memory of that day is of his mother embracing him with all her might, tears running down her cheeks in relief. The other is of my kids, following him to the door, their favorite toys in hand, insisting the little boy take them home. My son held a racecar track about as big as him in his chubby little hands and held it out to the boy, “Here! You need this at your house.”

On witnessing this gesture, my first thought was, “No, that’s your favorite toy! You can’t give it away.” But the beauty of it all quickly erased that idea. In their desire to comfort the boy, my children were offering their very best, and without hesitation. Isn’t that how giving should be?

My son was holding so loosely to his toy that it nearly broke apart in his hands. And that’s how we should hold to everything we own…loosely. Nothing this side of heaven is permanent. It’s in vain that we cling to that which is destined to fade away. What’s most precious to us gains far greater value when given away.

Children somehow grasp these truths more readily than those of us who’ve been around for a while, though we should know better. We’ve been around long enough to see just how temporary things are. So why do we hold on tightly to things that don’t last?

Maybe we’ve come to believe that these things give us significance, instead of knowing these things only become significant when we let go of them.

When my children willingly sacrificed their best toys to comfort their new friend, they created a memory more precious than anything we own. I’ll never forget the purity and innocence of their generosity. It inspires me to hold everything with an open hand, knowing it was never mine to keep.

“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

Photo Credit: Hands | Flickr – Photo Sharing! Hands | by Moyan_Brenn