After a long nap this afternoon, I’ve had a really productive day, and while I worked on whittling down my to-do list, I kept thinking about the discussion we had this morning in Sunday School.
We started with Proverbs 13:12:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. [ESV]
Here it is in The Message:
Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around.
One friend was telling about a miracle that made her husband want to go to the hospital. It turned out to be something minor, but they found something in the testing that they can now take care of. In the conversation, she said something about wanting to control the issue.
That’s what we want to do, as humans. We have a way to fix things, and we want others to see our view so that it goes easier for them. Many times, though, people don’t want to be “fixed,” even if what you have to say is good, or even right. Your intentions are the best. Maybe it’s something you know is God’s way, so it will be better for them in the end. Whatever. People want to do things the way they think best, even if what they’re thinking is something you can see won’t end well.
So, in the class, we went way off topic and ended up talking about letting go of the control. Letting go of our expectations. and letting God lead the other person, in the exact same [and totally different] way He’s leading us.
A few weeks ago, another friend in the class handed out a prayer that she uses to release people in her life so that she can give up issues of control. We all have unrelenting disappointment. It can be with friends, with kids, with spouses, with bosses, with jobs, with churches, with strangers. We can all use a prayer like this, so maybe you’ll find it helpful for whatever situation you find yourself in:
Because Jesus is my Lord, I free you from my anxiety, fears, and control. I trust the Holy Spirit to lead you and show you the way that is right for you; the way of love, joy, and peace, and all that salvation includes. I place you at God’s throne of grace. I cannot force my will on you. I cannot live your life for you. I give you to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You are a very special person. As much as I love you, God loves you more. Your life is totally in His hands, and I trust Him with it. I release you from my expectations. I place you on open palms to the Lord. I give you my blessings. I let you go. In Jesus’ name.
DAY 338 HOMEWORK: Pray this prayer as often as necessary. Wherever it says “you,” just put the person’s name [or an appropriate pronoun] in its place. If it’s a boss or a job [or a stranger], some of the language will need to change…but you get the idea. You can’t fix anybody, so quit trying, and let God work.