And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.-Luke 9:59-62
Those are some harsh truths there, but words that have convicted me more than a few times. I remember when I first read them, along with other words about how, The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and thinking whoah, wait a minute here! That feels so mean! God is not mean however, and I have since come to really appreciate those words from a context of letting go, of making room for new blessings, of surrendering all and remembering Who I serve, Who is my foundation, my cornerstone.
Luke 12:34 says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Truer words have never been spoken. It is not just financial treasures that can steal away our focus and attention, but people treasures too, family, friends, jobs, places, our prior roles in life, identities we cling to because they are familiar.
Many times the Lord has whispered to me, “I cannot bless you because there is no room, you must let go.” I can be a bit like a pit bull or maybe a moray eel, maternal instinct perhaps, but I will clamp down on someone or something to the bitter end. That’s what moms often do and caregivers, caretakers, nurtures of all sorts, we fight for the people we love with intensity and fierceness. The places we love. The things we love. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, it’s a beautiful design, wonderfully and fearfully made. Letting go however, can be hard.
“I cannot bless you because there is no room, you must let go.” We people can be so ridiculous. When things stay the same we get bored, feel as if we’re in a rut, and yet we also fear change, letting go of what is familiar. Sometimes what is familiar is not good for us, it no longer serves a purpose, and sometimes what is familiar was a good thing, a job well done, a mission accomplished, a season of life concluded. Well done, good and faithful servant, now I wish to bless you.
But Lord, my treasure is in this thing, my heart too…..And therein lies the problem I have sometimes found myself in. Like Lot’s wife, I struggle not to look back, not to cling to what is familiar, but to let go and allow the Lord to bless me with a new adventure, a new season in life. Somewhere in childhood I remember embracing change with a sense of wonder and excitement, rather than grief and loss, but that state of being got lost somewhere in adulthood, in the burden of love and loyalties, so the ability to simply be delighted in the moment, to receive the blessings to come, faded away. Lot’s wife, even in the midst of a rescue, even in the midst of receiving a great blessing, could not let go.
Well now call me crazy, but it seems far more logical to allow the Lord to make you into His salt, rather than to just turn you into a pillar of salt, forever trapped in the past, stuck somewhere in time.
God understands the struggle we all face, the sense of grief and loss that can come from letting go, and those words that once sounded so harsh, are actually words designed to protect us, to guide us and to save us from the nature of ourselves. Everything in life fades away, changes, the one thing we can all count on is the impermanence of it all, so we must put our heart, our treasure, at the feet of the One who is steadfast, unchanging, who never leaves us, and in order to receive the blessings He desires to reward us with, we must let go sometimes and make room for Him, receive the new blessings He brings us with all the wonder and delight of children.