HOLD LOOSELY TO EVERYTHING
1 year 2 months ago
I'll never forget March 11, 2009. That was the day I had to put my beloved husky to sleep. Thru a series of unfortunate events, I had found myself being forced to surrender my pup & watch him sit in a cage for 7 days until I took him on his final walk... To death.
Something dramatically changed in me that day. My life had become a nightmare and I was unable to wake up. Everything was spinning and I had no idea how I had gotten there. How could the universe be so unfair??? Didn't it know what I was already going thru???
As they injected the needle into his beautiful soft fur, I was paralyzed, I bit thru my lower lip, I basically lost my shit. THAT DOG WAS MY CHILD!! And as the poison finally reached his heart & he hobbled around that sterile, horrible little room and died in my arms while looking into my eyes.. I felt an anger growing in my chest like I'd never felt before.. I also realized this was a big moment & I had some choices to make. I could turn to HATE & seek revenge against the people whom I blamed for this tragedy.. (Totally wanted to do that btw but remembered: you can ALWAYS make it worse...) Or instead I could view this moment as a test of my faith in God's divine plan, preparation for future adversity and a reminder as to WHY "bad things happen". One word: Evil.
Thankfully, I did the latter (although not anywhere near as eloquently as written above...) as the next few years would bring many, many more tragedies. Throughout them my faith increased, I read from the bible multiple times a day, I prayed, I journaled, i started to feel great peace - no matter what, I focused on pursuing sanctification as a result of the tests I was working through & I learned the value of holding everything loosely. Otherwise it, not God, holds you.
With Gods strength (it certainly wasn't my own!) I kept getting up. I shook off each blow and kept moving forward. I simplified & streamlined everything in my life, reworked my perception of situations & knew I could always find something to be grateful for. God also taught me this was nothing more than a storm. Even though they may last 7 years.. Storms always pass.
And today I read the passage below. I am constantly reminded of God's grace and know that God doesn't let bad things happen. He permits them because of the sin in the world.
I hope that if you're struggling through something today, this passage helps bring peace & perspective as it once did for me. And to ponder this: the secret of survival is what you do ahead of time in calmer waters. If your life is storm-free as you read this, I urge you to take advantage of this peaceful lull. (Yay Lulls!!!) Spend time in God's Word. Study the inspired charts He has given you for the journey of life. Deepen your walk with Him through prayer and personal worship.
Then, when the inevitable winds of adversity begin to blow—and they most certainly will blow—you'll be ready to respond in faith, rather than fear. Don't wait. Check those anchors while it's smooth sailing. And remember: Resurrection is God's final triumph over evil. And that day soon will come.
Holding Too Tightly
By Charles R. Swindoll
Each of our children grew to become a self-sustaining, responsible servant of Jesus Christ, in his or her own way. As God intended from the beginning, we released them to follow their destinies.
Some of you reading these words did not release your children in this way. Perhaps you have lost your child through death, a terrible crime, divorce, or some other horrible tragedy. Let me be clear about this. While God is the sovereign ruler of all and nothing is beyond His power or knowledge, a horrible tragedy is never a cruel, merciless act on God's part. God did not find delight in making you endure such grief. Yes, as with Job, He permitted it, but He is not the author of evil. The evil intent of a world that has been twisted by sin took your child from you.
God hates not only sin, He also hates death. He hates it so much that He sent His Son to destroy death by dying and rising again. Death is called in the Scriptures our "last enemy" (1 Corinthians 15:26). Ultimately, the Lord will have the last word in this fight against evil, and He spoke that word to us through Jesus Christ. Put simply: Death is the will of a world gone wrong. Resurrection is God's final triumph over evil.
Whether we lose our children by tragedy or design, this much is true: Anything we hold dear, we must learn to hold loosely. Let's face it, if we hold anything too tightly, it probably has us rather than our having it. And God will not allow that for your sake or the sake of your loved one.
Ultimately, the decision to hold anything loosely—especially as it applies to relationships—is an act of faith. Human instinct would have us clutch the things we adore most. Releasing them, presenting them to God, requires that we trust Him to do what is right. When we do this for our children, the lasting impact we leave is a practical model of faith. And I can think of no better way to teach our children about the God we worship than by modeling our trust in Him daily.