On Letting Go

It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all…

Selected lyrics from “Let it Go” (from Frozen)

Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you I Peter 5:7 (Living Bible)

There is a song from the movie Frozen titled “Let it Go”, which of course gained great popularity a few years ago. This has also been a bit of the popular lingo as advice to people who tend to hold on to things and thereby suffer from undue anxiety. “Just let it go!” we say.

Of course, if it were that easy, no one would suffer from anxiety, and we would be a carefree and happy bunch! But “letting go” is not that easy, and it is dismissive and disrespectful to simply throw out such advice to those suffering from anxiety.

Yet, we are called to unburden our cares and worries to God for his safekeeping and provision. So, how do we do this? I spoke to a client recently who suffers from anxiety and we discussed ways to actually begin this process. First, I suggested that we start small and work on “letting go” of just one thing. That one thing that she was carrying actually did not belong to her, but it was a burden she had for her husband’s health. He had been putting off some medical procedure and she found herself nagging him to get it done. It annoyed him and frustrated her. Indeed, her worry was for a good, loving reason- her husband’s health- but she was carrying something that she could not carry. She needed to hand it over to him.

But first she needed to see that it was not under her control. There are things that we can control, and other things that we cannot control. By carrying something that was not hers, she was limiting the proper locus of control, and, therefore, also the remedy. The remedy was not in her hands.

We often limit God by holding on to things that only he can handle.

More on that tomorrow.

Prayer: Lord, you invite us to cast our burdens upon you. You can carry the things we cannot, Amen.

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