I was charged with the task of cutting some soap the other day - something you might think would be insanely easy. It is this rich mixture of glycerin, oils, and the like, so shouldn't it be like cutting butter? First of all, let me assure you I am not a weak person - I have a great deal of strength in these hands and arms still. I can still wrestle the pickle jar open with best of you! The soap, on the other hand, just about did me in! No matter how much 'strength' I had in these hands, arms, and even my upper body, I just couldn't cut the loaf pan sized chunk of soap into 1/2 inch pieces. Something was awry with the soap as it set up and it made it insanely hard to cut. Do you know what we did with that soap? We let go of the idea of it being 'bars' of soap, chunked it up, put it back in the heat, and poured it into smaller silicone molds that will allow it to just 'pop out' perfectly sized! Hermann Hesse once said, "Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go." Some of us hold onto things, dreams, or beliefs long past the time we should have let them go all because we don't want to appear weak. Sometimes the greatest strength is revealed in letting go!So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. (James 4:7-10)
I don't like letting go of things that I have held dear for some time in my life - it isn't easy to just admit I need to make a clean break from them. Maybe it is because I think others will see it as a weakness to let go of whatever it is, or is it just that I am afraid to let others see me fail? There are times when pride keeps us holding onto things, ideas, beliefs, and others way beyond what is really all that good for us. We need to let go. I believe there comes a moment when we have to actually "let God work his will in us" - a time when we make a conscious choice to no longer hold onto those things. Notice I said it requires a conscious effort - if we are to let go, we actually have to make a 'mind choice' and then we have to actually put some 'effort' into the 'letting go' part. When we decided the soap bars were a crazy idea, we had to not only let go of the idea of this soap being in 'bar form', but we had to put in the effort to cut it into very small squares, melt it again, repour it into suitable molds and then go through the clean up process.
In looking back over this event, I can recall the deep divots in the palm of my hand where I had been pressing down on the knife blade to attempt to cut through the soap. Trying to hold onto the idea of making 'cut bars' from this loaf sized chunk of soap hurt! It put pressure against me that told me it was resisting everything I was trying to do. That is how it is with stuff we need to give up, or let go of in life. The pressure it exerts in resisting us is insane, so why do we still hold onto the notion we can get something beautiful to come out of the idea, dream, belief, or relationship that has been resisting us with such force? We need to let go. To let go, we need to admit that God needs to change our 'will' toward the thing we need to let go of so badly. We need him to 'work his will' in us - to change the way we think about the matter, so we can finally make a break from it.
Some of us have already hit bottom where it comes to this 'thing' God is asking us to let go of right now. We have been toying with the idea of being free from it for some time, but we just haven't been able to make a 'final break' that results in us being free. The thing we fail to recognize is that this 'break up' with that idea, dream, or thing isn't really all our doing - God needs to help us let go. As we get down on our knees before God, we are allowing God to intervene right where intervention is needed. Whenever we assume the posture of 'letting go', God assumes the posture of lifting us above the thing we just laid down. Just sayin!