When you hear the phrase “let it go,” you almost instantly think of the hit song from Disney’s animated film “Frozen.” But while reading in the book of John this week, the phrase “let it go” served as a great reminder. We will pick up the story as Lazarus, a good friend of Jesus, died. Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, found Jesus to let Him know what was going on. From the tone of the story, it seems as though Mary and Martha expected Jesus to come with them so Jesus could heal their brother. But their plan did not work out the way they thought it would. Take a look at this passage:
So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. John 11:3-6 (NLT)
“Hello!…Jesus, he does not have a paper cut. HE IS REALLY SICK. In fact, he might die. You need to come with us NOW.” But He did not. He just acknowledged that He heard them, let them know that this is a “big picture” issue and went on with whatever He was doing. Can you imagine how Mary and Martha felt? Do not forget these two sisters were very connected to Jesus. This is the Mary who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped His feet with her hair (vs. 2). But Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, had a plan. Mary, Martha and the rest of the family had no idea what in the world He was doing. It was out of their control.
Here is one of the lessons we as Christ followers and leaders can learn from this story:
You Cannot Control Everything So…Let It Go.
I know it sounds so ridiculously elementary that intelligent people like you and me should not waste our breath uttering such simplistic concepts, right? Maybe that is the case with you, but on occasion I forget this. Even with the best of intentions, at times some of us forget that so much of life is outside our control so…let it go.
The best thing you and I can do is focus our attention on the things we can control and let God deal with everything else. Now, I am sure you would agree with that statement but the truth is, if you are a “get it done” type person, this is a struggle. This is a good example of how our strengths can become our greatest weakness. For example, if you are that “get it done” person, you have a system and process for what you do and that process has proven to be quite effective. The fact that others do not operate that way may bug you, but it is not that big of a deal until you are forced to “partner” with them on a project. Now it is a big deal! You start to wonder how these people manage to get dressed and find their way to work everyday. You might think things like “these guys just fly by the seat of their pants” or “they make things up as they go.” Either way, it frustrates the heck out of you…let it go.
You may not even like the way your Sr. Pastor makes decisions. Well, unless he is coming to you for input (which I doubt)…let it go. Maybe God seems silent when you cry out to Him with the details of how He should intervene (been there, done that). Maybe you feel the confusion of Mary and Martha and wonder if God heard you correctly. Well, make no mistake my friend. He knows what is going on. And there is a “big picture” plan at work even if you cannot see it.
All the more reason we should focus on the things that are within our control and let God deal with everything else. You see, my goal is NOT to “take over the world” or have “ultimate rule.” Rather, I simply love God and the church with all my heart and I truly want to make an impact for the kingdom. In fact, I bet you feel the exact same way. But, in the process, I sometimes get frustrated when I can see the obvious answer but for whatever reason, God has not picked up on it yet (said with much sarcasm).
Do not give in to worry, stress and other debilitating distractions that could prevent that glorious miracle you and your family have been waiting on God is at work and He truly knows best! Besides if we were really in control, we would all be in big trouble. Thank God we are not in control and He is so…let it go.
(Don’t miss Part 2 of “Let it Go.” It is powerful.)