Psalms 62:5 “My soul, waits silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”
Hi Church –
It’s Deb here. Pastor Chris asked me to share this word in the all-church email this week. It’s based on what I heard the Lord say to me before Live Prayer a couple of weeks ago so bare with me if some of it sounds familiar.
I was reading a Facebook Post created by my niece Stephanie, who is an English teacher and an amazing writer. She really allows the Holy Spirit to arrange her words so that they captivate and I love how the Lord used her situation with her teenager to speak right into my spirit as well, even though I’m passed those “teenager” years. She was essentially talking about the stress of being a mom to a teenager with “attitude”.
Here’s an excerpt of the post: “I went to my room. Sat on my bed, and in an effort to quiet the racing of my mind, I opened my devotion. But before I read, something in me beckoned my heart to seek out hers. I called her into my room, motioned her to come close, opened my arms and watched my irritability soften as it held tightly to hers. There were no words; I just held her, and she just let me. And in an instant, the private irritation she thought she was so good at controlling came seeping out through her tears as she began to break in my arms. “The mounting stress, the piles of homework, friend issues and trying to manage it all”…She’s been trying to keep it together by holding it all in, but she doesn’t realize holding it in is what’s holding her down”?
Right there – it hit me! Those words, paraphrased for the chorus of a new song I just had to write:
Doesn’t she know
That holding on is what’s holding her down
Doesn’t she know
That life is all about letting go
Doesn’t she know
How could she know
The Lord has really been working in me about “Letting Go” so when I read the words about “Holding On”, I knew this was His voice through the pen of my neice. It’s not just piles of homework and the stress of being a teenager. Even as adults, some of us are guilty (yet redeemed), of continuing to HOLD ON. We hold on to things, people, ideas, ways of thinking, etc…, far too long. We hold our emotions, stress, or frustration in until we’re going to explode. One of the positive attributes in my own personality is that I’m really good at “follow through” (which is another way of saying “holding on”). I’m persistent and I’ll persevere to the end. All good…..until it’s not. Until the Lord says….Let Go. And then it’s a cross-roads. Holding on is just easier. It’s comfortable. It’s like those old shoes that are worn out but they are our favorites. But when the Lord spoke to me about “Letting Go” this time, I really didn’t know what he wanted me to let go of. Fear, frustration, control. Oh yes. We have worked on those over the years. But the next word he gave me really took me by surprise and shook me a little. “EXPECTATIONS”. My gut felt this word rumble deep down….“I want you to Let Go of your Expectations”.
So as I pondered a little, it wasn’t really “expectations” it was “MY Expectations”. How “I” thought things should be, what “I” thought was “right”. (Me, me, me. Not again Lord. I thought we got rid of that Debbi flesh. HA!) Don’t get me wrong - I think the Lord does want us to have expectations. He wants us to expect his return (Heb 9:28). He wants us to expect an answer to prayer (Ps 5:3). So what’s wrong with “MY Expectations”? I actually had to let go of the air that was filling my lungs with a sigh. Tears rolling down my face. “Expectations” were why Jesus was put to death on the cross. The Jewish people “expected” a warrior in their Messiah. They “expected” someone who would fight against the Roman empire and overthrow with force. They didn’t “expect” a meek, humble man. So when they were given the choice to save him from the cross, they said no and shouted “Give us Barabbas” (Matt 27:21) And now here I am, centuries later. Holding Jesus on that same cross because I expected things would be different. He would be different. I could feel the heat of my own heart burning as it skipped a beat. And yet – like he did with Peter after the rooster crowed three times, Jesus looks at me with compassion. So much compassion that I am compelled to “Let Go”, realize that holding on is what’s holding me down, breath in, exhale, and “Let God”.
This message may or may not speak to you at this time in your life, but when I think about it, it might be appropriate for our church body as we prepare for our upcoming season of transition. I believe God wants us to hold on to him. Let our souls rest in Him alone. But I also believe he’s calling us to practice “letting go” with the gentle reminder that His ways are higher than our ways (Is 55:8-9). I pray that the Holy Spirit does fill us with expectation – but expectation that is drawn from Him alone, amen?
PS – If you’re on Facebook, I encourage you to go read Stephanie’s “teenager attitude” post here: https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.silvey.1/posts/10226417414282843) – and give her some love in the comments if you want.