The following is an excerpt from the book One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn. These words are powerful and spoke volumes to me. I felt the need to share them with you. Read it over until the words penetrate your soul.
“Many of the lessons God wishes for us to learn are based on the principle of release. We need to learn how to take our hands off the controls. When we are at our most desperate, and our desire to cling to control is strongest, this is when we most need to let go. To be willing in faith to take our hands off, and put the experience and the circumstances under the control of God.
Yet we desperately want to direct our own lives. It is fear which keeps us from releasing control. It makes us skeptical. It keeps us from believing in the goodness of God. Friends, a moment given over to fear is a moment lost from God. (emphasis mine) We are lost in that moment, trapped by fear and doubt and a desperate desire to cling to what we know. And yet at these times we can do ourselves the greatest harm by trying to forge ahead alone, governed by fear, blinded by our terrors and our pains and our past. It is at this moment when release of control to God is vital. This is no senseless casting everything to the winds of fate. This is trusting God. This is putting action to the theory of faith.
Remember when the Israelites were trapped between the forces of Pharaoh and the impossible sea? Moses turns to them and in Exodus fourteen, verse thirteen, he says, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.’
In our impossible times, when our human frailties are greatest, that is when God’s power can be strongest. If only we can release the impossibilities to God, He will work His miracles. Free yourself from the deadly assumption that you have the strength and the wisdom and the capacity to make the right decisions yourself. That you can find your way through this alone. Give it up. Turn it over. And then, once you have given it over, leave the circumstances and the problems in God’s hands. Release control to God and step off the cliff of comfort into the unknown.
Some of you might be wondering why I chose to speak about fear on a night of rejoicing over our Savior’s birth. (Works for Easter week, too!!!) I do so because we celebrate here tonight the conquest of fear. Friends, I stand here tonight to proclaim the good news to all the world. Fear is vanquished! Death in conquered! Tonight we celebrate not only the Savior’s birth, but His death. Why? Because the Lord was made flesh with one purpose in mind – to come so that He might die for us and for our sins. Because through Christ’s death a door was opened. An eternal invitation was made. To all who suffer and worry and hurt and know fear, our Savior says, ‘Come! Come and I will give you rest! Come and drink the cup of eternal healing! Come and sing at the holy feast of life! Come and celebrate! Why? Because, I your King, have conquered death. I, your King, have conquered fear.’ The door is open, our way made straight. The King reigns in the eternal Kingdom, and we are His people! Hallelujah, Amen!”
Lots of love, Sharon
(One Shenandoah Winter, by T Davis Bunn, 1998
taken from pages 218-221)