My hand aches from clenching my fist as the phlebotomist tries to find a vein. He sees the one he wants and goes for it. “You’re going to feel a pinch,” he says. I brace myself but don’t look away. Watching appeals to me for some odd reason. Much to my surprise, I feel nothing—not even the stick. The blood begins a slow flow. Why so slow, I wonder. Then he says the magic words, “Unclench your fist—let go.” As I comply, a gust of blood springs forth, filling the syringe. Then another and another. Fascinating. All I had to do was let go.
Letting go seems to be a theme in my life these days. I hear it over and over. I’m forced to actively let go in most areas of life right now—my job, my children, my plans, my preferences. I’ve been searching the Scriptures to find some instruction on the subject, and I was not surprised to find that the theme of “letting go and letting God” permeates the Bible.
I did find a lot of comfort as I read these verses, and I believe you will as well.
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. –Isaiah 43:18-19
“I am doing a new thing.” I love new things. New things are exciting. New things are challenging yet invigorating. But why, when a new thing begins to “spring forth” do I tend to cling to the old, to the familiar?
Fear. Comfort. Consistency. Tradition. These are all valid reasons for the clinging.
But look at the latter part of verse 19. “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Whether I can’t find my way or I’m dry and in need of refreshment and new life, God makes the way to the new thing. He always makes a way when He invites us to travel down His path.
For me, at times, the work to God’s new way is often difficult. He must pry my clenched fist open and flay my soul, ridding me of the ugly sin that causes me to clench my fists and dig in my heels. This prying leads me to emote with anger, selfishness, bitterness, and often confusion—more sin, I know.
If only I could see these things coming? If I could refrain from focusing on the here and now, and recognize God’s leading, I could surrender to Him sooner, making it easier for both of us.
Just like those tubes that filled with life-giving blood when I released my fist, the springing forth would come quicker, be less painful, and blossom sooner. If I would only let go and let God.
So what can I do? What can we do from this place of realization? How do we move forward into the new thing with this new knowledge that God is at work for our good and His glory?
I believe there are a few practical tools that can help us navigate through the process with greater ease and less pain.
- Practice recognizing God’s active work in your life by staying in His Word.
- In your daily prayer time specifically, ask Him to show you the new ways He is moving in your life.
- When you recognize the new, lean into the new. Embrace it. Love it
- Make a list of the positives that spring forth from the new.
- List the things you’ll miss from the old and ask God to help you use what you learned from those experiences to move forward in the new.
- Depend on God to teach and train you in the new.
Just as the red blood from my veins flowed free into that vile as I let go, so the red blood of Jesus flowed free with mercy and grace at a Cross on Calvary. The pain Christ experienced as He cut a New Covenant for you and for me, meant freedom for us. Freedom from sin and death, yes, but also freedom to live the abundant life He created for each of us. And what is this abundant life? That life filled with joy and peace, my friend, springs forth as we release the old and embrace whatever Jesus has for us today.
So what “new thing” springs forth today? Will you choose to clench your fist and hold on to the familiar, or will you choose to let go and experience abundant joy, peace, and life? Remember, Jesus will make a way for you, dear one.
Director of Women’s Ministry