The King's Gardeners Ministries
Reverend S. L. Gardner
Spokane, Washington US
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- Help in Letting Go and Letting God -
What Do You Give Yourself Over To?
A common cry of those standing for the restoration marriage is they are tired of the agony and uncertainty of waiting. They say it is difficult to remain hopeful with a seemingly unchangeable situation. The present feels so stressful and hurtful and the future doesn't seem to let up. There is a lesson from the swan that may help. It will show you how to move from a life that seems to "beat you up" to one that lifts you beyond your present state.
The swan, when on dry land, is a very awkward creature. It is top heavy and as it walks with its two disproportionate legs, its whole body jerks from side to side. It's almost painful to watch. Yet when this clumsy walking fowl lets go of the land and releases itself to the water, the water receives the bird, lifts it up and that awkward thing becomes an object of beauty and grace. It looks so magnificent when it is in its proper realm. It's movements are smooth and easy. It is the same bird, it is just in it's proper realm. Quite in contrast with its movement on land.
What does the swan teach us about dealing with the tough issues of life? When we approach life just from the natural, we only see the circumstances on a two dimensional level. Difficulties, hurts and uncertainty seem to mount up as we struggle to hold our own. Just putting one foot in front of the other seems like an effort. We rock through life just like the swan on dry land, creaking from one side then the next. We even look worn and ragged to those around us.
What is worse, we begin to believe we are stuck in this land-based set of circumstances forever. We begin to cling to the land so as to protect ourselves from further hurt. It is in these times we grow weary of standing for what is right and we feel like "Rocky" at the end of the eighth round. But God has something more fantastic for us. He wants us to give ourselves over to Him in the situation. Trust that His Spirit which we cannot see, will lift us beyond our present circumstances. He wants us to stop treating life like a rear guard action. He wants us to depend on Him: His promises, His love, His sufficiency. It is when we let go of the land with which we cling to every day that He sends waves of His power that lift us up beyond the circumstances of the moment.
What defines our state of mind is what we give ourselves over to. Do we give ourselves over to a caring loving God: embracing life with all it has, the joys and the pains, knowing God will see us through victoriously. This is like the swan gracefully moving on the pond. Or like the swan on dry land, do we try to deal with life in our own strength: just maintaining damage control, clumsily waddling from one day to the next. It's our choice.
The answer to our tired state is not in rest or relief that we get from someone else. It comes from within as we give ourselves over to the Lord Jesus Christ. As one Benedictine monk put it, the antidote to weariness and fatigue is not rest, but whole-heartedness. Give yourself over to life expecting God to meet you at the water's uncertain edge. Give yourself over to Him today and see what grace-filled ability He has for your life.
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