Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Let go and let God" because I can't fix this...

Week 41:

John 6:60-65 60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
I have heard, seen on bumper stickers, and/or read on decorative plaques the phrase, “Let go and let God.”  For me, the first time I heard the phrase; it gave me something to think about.  Now that I have seen the phrase many times, it lost its luster like so many phrases like it…the phrase has become cliché.  However, recently, this phrase has new meaning.

Over the past few weeks I have been dealing with several situations where my guidance and mentoring has been requested.  In a lot of those situations, I have found that no matter the suggested guidance; the people requesting did not follow the guidance.  Or, as I probed deeper into the situation, I could see that my guidance was not going to help.  These situations were not going to get better.  I began to feel this burden of sadness come over me and the situations weighed heavy on my heart.  It was then and there I realized that what felt so burdensome to me, was the fact that I could not fix things for these people.

For as far back as I can remember, I have noticed that I like to help people in emotional need.  Some of this has been in order to feel needed.  Some of this has been a general compassion for the hurting.  Sometimes, my helpfulness becomes misguided and I become a “fixer”.  Over the last few years, I have been shown that my “fixing” was driven primarily by my need to fix my own discomfort with the situation at hand.  So, I have been doing work around becoming more helpful and less of a “fixer”.

Another misguided way I would handle those who I could not “fix” was to disengage altogether.  I did not want to “waste” emotional energy or feel rejected so I acted as if I didn’t care.  I thought that in some way this was protecting my heart.  All it ever did was numb pain…this never really made it go away.  In fact, it would drive me to “fix” even more in the next scenario.

In this recent string of situations, I have been offering my helpful side and stopping short of trying to fix.  Even if I were to move back into a “fixer” persona, the situations are beyond my fixing abilities (Of course, I am sure the past situations where I was “fixing” were beyond said abilities as well).  Now as I look at what is going on, I prophetically see that some of these situations have to get worse before they get better.  And, in some cases, the situation will not get better…at least not under its current support system.  In both cases, I am truly powerless. 

As I was carrying this burden of sadness, the above verse came to mind.  The context of this verse is not like the context of my situation.  However, I feel the results have a similar flavor.  Jesus has just finished a strange teaching around eating his flesh and drinking his blood.  He has also raised himself above Moses.  Many of disciples leave their following of him at this point.  Jesus does not try to fix this.  He does not chase after them saying, “Come back!”  I hate to say it this way but, Jesus “cut his losses.”  Instead, Jesus focused on the disciples still with him.  I am not saying that Jesus was non-emotional about the ones who walked away.  I believe that he was praying for them and thinking of them in his last days and even on the Cross. 

How do I go forward when there is no “fix”?  First, I have to recognize that I have done what I could.  Maybe all I am is one plants or waters seed.  And, it is okay for me to feel sadness around this.  This leads into the second step for me.  “Let go and let God.”  This is where it ceases to be cliché for me.  I have no choice but to commit this to prayer and leave any heart changes, etc. to God.  Finally, I need to focus on those I can help and those I am helping.  This does not exempt me from being helpful.  I am not to disengage emotionally.  I also need not seek to “fix” somewhere else.  I am to become aware of where I am needed and pay attention to how long God has me in that scenario.  He will do His work beyond that.


1.      Do you consider yourself a helper, a fixer, or does it matter to you?  Explain.
2.      How have you handled what you have seen as impossible situations?
3.      When you know there has been no way to see a solution, what have you done with your grief and sadness?
4.      What do you see in Jesus from this passage?
5.      What can you learn from His handling of the lost disciples?
6.      Pay attention this week to how you handle those situations that you cannot see a good ending in sight.  Ask God to help you turn it over to Him.

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