When You Have to Let Go
This morning in our church’s life group, we read the account of Abraham being told to take his son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice. This story has always caused me some angst; I vividly remember learning about this as a child and wondering how Isaac must have felt watching his father lift up his knife as he laid helplessly tied to some wood. When I became a parent, I naturally thought about Abraham and what went through his mind when God gave the command and he and Isaac took the three-day journey to the place of sacrifice. It’s one of those things you read in the Bible and contemplate whether you would have actually obeyed.
We know that this story had a happy ending; God stopped Abraham and pointed out that he had provided a ram for a substitute sacrifice. This foreshadows how Jesus would be sacrificed for us hundreds of years later.
Not every story has a happy ending. Job lost everything- children, possessions, good health…all gone. David’s infant son died and was not miraculously resurrected. Cain killed his own brother in a jealous rage; Adam and Eve became grieving parents. From a human perspective, Job, David, Adam, and Eve all had their children taken too soon.
It’s so easy for us to see things as ours; when something precious is gone, we so often rail against the unfairness that our grasp wasn’t tight enough. We have this deluded sense of ownership over our children, possessions, freedoms, and finances.
Abraham had waited so long for this precious son to start bringing God’s prophecy to fruition. He may have been incredulous, angry, confused, and heartbroken when God told him to make that unbelievable sacrifice.
Like Abraham, I experienced all those emotions when I could sense I was being told to let go of my child. Over the last six plus years, the truth has really sunken in that my children aren’t really mine at all- through God’s sovereignty, he’s allowed me to be their mother and he allowed our firstborn to return to him so much sooner than I wanted. Our flesh wants to grasp so tightly to everything “ours”; it’s so easy to forget that nothing really belongs to us. It is so humbling and hard to admit that truth.
But God doesn’t just allow devastation and then abandon ship; he is there to pick up the pieces if we let him. I still wish with all my heart I could watch my little girl grow up, but I’m comforted by the knowledge she’s with her true father. I remember hearing her first cry after she entered this world, and I laid beside her as she took her last breath. One day, I will join her for eternity.
“No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry, till final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand, till he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.” In Christ Alone