I’ve always been a doer. Procrastination and waiting aren’t words I like. In seminary, I was always that crazy girl who had her 10-page paper done 3 days before it was due. I think it’s also why I made a good restaurant server. I always tried putting myself in their seat and I knew the type of service I liked—fast, friendly, and informed.
While on retreat this past week the Lord spoke something to my heart. It’s actually something He’s been trying to pound (tenderly) into my heart for years now. It’s not overly complicated; it’s just two words. Ready?
Ruth Haley Barton says in her book, Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God, “To relinquish is to let go…of human striving and human effort…of what we usually identify with and how we identify ourselves…of our addiction to whatever we use to distract ourselves from what needs attention…of our attempts at controlling everyone and everything. Relinquishment is a synonym of surrender, and it is what Davis is talking about in Ps. 46:10 when he says, “Be still [literally, let go of your grip], and know [experiential, full-body knowing] that I am God.” Another way to say this might be “Let go of your grip and experienceletting God be God in your life.” p. 65
The Lord, again, reminded me of my need to let go of my grip. Oh, but I like control and I really don’t like to wait. I like figuring things out so I can get them done and checked off my list. Yet, the harder I try to make something happen that God is asking me to relinquish to Him, the more exhausted and discouraged my heart becomes. But God, I can figure it out! But God, it’s worked this way before! But God, this hurts! But God, I want ________________. Good grief, we sound like Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when she exclaimed “I want it now!” Remember what happened to her? Yeah, that whole purple blueberry thing. Thankfully, we aren’t going to turn into a purple blueberry, but we will forfeit our peace. Our peace comes through rest—the ability to let go of our grip and entrust ourselves to the One who knows, sees, and loves us more than we know. On my retreat, my heart experienced a deep sense of peace. A peace my heart didn’t know years ago when I was able to control my life A LOT more. Be still, Beloved, you and I can trust Him and find true rest in His peace.