The Key…

“Let Go of the Rope!”

Aren’t we all looking for that Key? One, simple understanding that lifts the burdens of life? Ah, to never have to balance a check book again. That perfect marriage to that perfect person. Never wondering how I am going to do that? Complete acceptance in any social situation, always wondering, do I fit in? Or, what do “They” think?

Getting the key is oft times a monumental step, albeit daunting. Dad giving you the keys to the family car, the bank giving you the key to your first house. Your boss giving you a key to your first private office-or getting the key to your first business. Handing the keys to your car to your sixteen-year-old. Daunting indeed!

As Christians, we often believe we have it figured out. Still, we need to balance check books, relationships with friends and loved ones can be difficult. Most of us can still fall victim to peer pressure. How can that be? Knowing that we are a continual work in progress, Christians strive to be better every day. However, life can be tough. It seems we apply all we learn in Church, yet the world continues to punch us in the face.

Not that I have it all figured out, I don’t. God has been working with me for decades. Teaching me to come closer to him and farther away from the stuff of the World. Looking back, thanks to God, He Has shown me a simple understanding that has helped tremendously in my life, eliminating a host of hardships.

Do you remember playing “Tug-O-War” as kids? Maybe you still play. It’s been a while for me, but I always loved it. A great game that was usually played over a muddy pit. Initially believing that the game was winnable only through brute strength; as our team got better, we realized it was more of a “head” game. Turns out that “Tug-O-War” was all about strategy and how to take the best advantage of the strength available. Our strategies always included “Psyching” out our opponents before the match. Mainly so that they would start the game doubting their abilities. However, my favorite move was the “fake out”. That glorious move when all at once, our team would give slack in the rope to the other team. Instantly, thinking they “had” us, the other team would often let up at the first sign of a relaxing in the rope. With a shout, our team would pull back with everything we had. “Hooking” them like a fish on the line. We won more matches with that move than any other.

You might be wondering what does “tug-o-war” have to do with “The Key”? Think of it as an analogy of our walk with God. We start out thinking that our “Brute Strength” will get us through everything in life. Then, when things go wrong, we give our lives to Christ. Do we? Completely? Whether we are pulling on the rope; asking God for what WE believe WE need. Or, those times when we give it all to God, praying, “Your Will, Not Mine”. Still, always holding tightly to the rope; fully ready to yank back when WE believe it’s needed. Isn’t “The Key” to let go of the rope? Truly give ALL of our life to God!

Throughout my life, when letting go of the rope and letting God have it, He has never let me down. When we weren’t sure where the next dollar was coming from; where would we live, how would we find food to eat? Giving it all to God, He always had our backs. Without fail. We weren’t dripping in money, gold and diamonds, but He always provided.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Matthew 6:33

Dropping out of High School, it seemed my life was never going to match my dreams. Scared and frustrated my fear led me to give it all to God, asking for guidance and help. Looking back, it was that single event — dropping out of school — that led me to meet the love of my life, my bride for over 40 years now. Unquestionably, through some very tough times, God ordered our steps into a wonderful and blessed life. More recently, when giving up alcohol and pain pills. God led me to my knees, fearing the loss everything. Again, giving it all to God and begging for His help. He not only carried me while taking me out of my addictions. From that day forward, all desire for alcohol and thought of using opiates were gone. Wiped out entirely. That is the God Factor for me. When you give it completely to Him, it goes away. Completely. Like it never existed.

Planning things on my own always seemed to lead me into chaos. Sure, my thoughts and prayers were with God, always asking for help; but giving in to my plans and my understanding, not His will. Things might have worked, and sometimes even got better, but it was never without strife and disorder. Looking back, it was me holding on to the rope that created the chaos while working to control the outcome.

Letting go of the rope continues to be a battle for me. It’s ALL about believing that God will pick you up and carry you through. He will.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

The Key?…

“Let Go and Let God!
God’s Got This & Grace Got You!”

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