Let go and Trust
“Just step out and sit down.” These were the final instructions given before the plunge into the rainforest. I was familiar with taking a step of faith--feet were on the ground. But sitting down in mid-air felt suicidal. My body buckled every time I heard the guide say, “Just sit down,” and again, “Just sit down.” Talk about a lesson on trust!
The zooming in and out screen scenes of attractions in Costa Rica had captured my interest while standing in the immigration line– a zipline ride over the rainforest. Dancing up and down in my mind were toucans, monkeys, and boxes of Froot Loops cereal. How fun it looked! The participants wore helmets and were harnessed with straps connected to cables that held them in place. I felt my heart dancing up and down. I’m not sure if it was an “oh, to be a child again feeling” or just a fun grandma whim. It wasn’t on my bucket list at all. In fact, I had never even thought of doing such a daring thing. “I’m not sure I understand what has gotten in to you,” my husband commented with an admiring grin. He knew my fears.
You see, I never learned to swim because I couldn’t let both feet off the bottom of the pool. Horseback riding was scary. Ice skating, roller skating . . . not for me. I didn’t ride a bike until I turned 50 years old because I didn’t want to fall and skin my knees. And that bike ride was probably the most exhilarating play time I had every experienced.
Jim surprised me with a bright red, tandem bike FOR TWO for my birthday! Off we went riding through the neighborhood. I had my own handle bars, brakes, and seat. He was not only with me, but he was in front of me, and did the pedaling. I was along for the ride, with no fear, enjoying for the first time my hair blowing in the wind, and childlike excitement that only a new red bike could generate.
Perhaps the bike experience was a stepping stone to another unknown adventure. Whoever would have thought I would be found sitting down in mid-air, swinging through trees from platform to platform (six of them) for over an hour in a leather strap seat, feet dangling, hanging onto a cable wire for direction, hoping to not spin around or do a flip? When I finally submitted to letting go, gravity took it from there – at “zip” speed no less. I made it. No, there were no monkeys, toucans, or any other exotic creature – I don’t think. My eyes were closed as I babbled prayers of a sort.
Since my adventure on the zipline, Elsa’s song in Disney’s “Frozen” has been written. “Let it go” has found its way into finding solutions for all kinds of dilemmas. The good advice of the three-word phrase has become common, every day lingo. That little one-syllable word “let,” is small but mighty. It is found in Scripture too, a number of times.
As we deal with daily struggles, when we are troubled, everything seems to be coming at us at once, cares of life seem to mount up, and potholes of problems erupt in all sizes, we are rattled - even shaken. Well meaning friends often advise, “let it go.” It’s all you can do. Sometimes that is the best thing, but getting beyond that small, but mighty, word “let” gets in our way. We can’t.
Some years ago I began discovering spiritual lessons from the Apostle Paul’s letters. These lessons are retaught over and over. The subject of them is on “Letting” which means allowing, giving permission, or submitting. Colossians 3:15-16 speaks directly to me. First, I must remember that Christ Himself IS my peace. (Ephesians 2:14). Peace has been provided for us in every situation we find ourselves. Sometimes we naturally want to work things out ourselves instead of allowing Christ to be in control.
The teaching I share with you is that if we want peace of mind for frustrations, problems, and differences, we submit to letting His peace calm the spirit. It’s a choice to let it go, then “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. . .” (Col. 3:15). Conflict and disturbances will continue, but we can experience inner quietness and calmness.
Not only does God provide peace for the heart, but truth and wisdom are available for the mind. Guidance for daily living, encouragement, comfort, spiritual strength, and more are ours as we allow the Scriptures to be incorporated into our daily lives. It is vital to “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly . . .” (Col. 3:16). For it to dwell deeply, it’s necessary to read it daily. It is surprising how frenzied restlessness slips away.
A peaceful heart and a mind nourished by God’s Word allows freedom to let go and let God carry you.