To struggle used to be to grab with both hands and shake and twist and turn and push and shove and not give in but wrest an answer from it all as Jacob did a blessing.\ But there is another way to struggle with an issue, a question – simply to jump off into the abyss and find ourselves floating, falling, tumbling, being led slowly and gently but surely to the answers God has for us – to watch the answers unfold before our eyes and still to be a part of the unfolding.\ But, oh! The trust necessary for this new way! Not to be always reaching out for the old hand-holds. Susan W.N. Ruach
Trust is such an elusive human value. It seems only to come through sweat and trial and failure until experience warrants its earning. The chief characteristic of any first endeavor and relationship seems to be a reticent giving up of self until all refined observation signals a letting go of that learned inhibition. Experience is a fine teacher.
What is the way to God but through trust? And how do we trust but to allow the giving up of self without reservation and experience? Allowance is that ever-present visitor in our midst we wish only to share when safety appears. But surely, as we lean toward God, this visitor is the way to restoration and presence with the Almighty.
Giving up is such a hard task. But I think it is better than giving in to the temptation of holding onto a reality that resists God’s grace by force of our own will, either by perpetuating guilt and pain or rationalizing away sin. To allow God his time is to allow grace to transform us. Though reality remains determined, grace opens our sight to God’s view and we change. Grace always reveals a different response to the reality we live.
My spiritual growth could not be weighed in my self-image. Growing came in the giving up, allowing God to answer. I searched my limits and discovered I was limited. And I did not find my limits in the presence of my enemies, but worse, in those I pretended to like and did not.
My eyes opened when one by one, I fell past my unthinking pretenses and pre-conceptions into faith. I still don’t see so well, but I see things I did not before.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV).
Allowing and giving up delivered me past the old hand-holds, past manipulation. And letting go, I fell into God’s answer. For those who seek God, to each his own answer as God provides. This is grace.
“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).