But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left.” Genesis 42:38 NLT
She loves to play fetch; she doesn’t love to let go.
Two years ago, my wife and I inherited a Chihuahua-terrier mix. This Chihuahua differed from others I’d owned. She wasn’t moody and welcomed visitors she’d seen before—but at the same time alerted us to strangers. And she loved to play fetch—not something I’ve ever known a Chihuahua to enjoy.
Although she loves to fetch her favorite toys, she doesn’t enjoy letting go. I play tug of war with her for a few minutes, then stop. When I do, she lays the toy down, wanting me to throw it. As long as I toss the toy, she’ll fetch it. She loves holding on; she reluctantly lets go.
Jacob knew a little about holding on, too. He had two sons by his beloved wife: Joseph and Benjamin. His other sons hated Joseph, sold him into slavery, and told their father a wild animal had killed him. What they didn’t know was that their hated brother now commanded the food distribution program in Egypt. And since a famine ravaged their homeland, the family needed to see him to get food. They also needed Benjamin. Joseph wanted to see his blood brother and wouldn’t give his other brothers food unless they brought him along. Jacob, facing starvation, reluctantly let him go.
Letting go isn’t the easiest thing in the world. For parents who are sending their child off to their first day of school … or college. For Moms and Dads who are giving their son or daughter away in marriage. For one spouse who is telling the other spouse goodbye as they leave on a military tour of duty. Or for family and friends telling a loved one goodbye as they leave to serve on the mission field.
Neither is it easy to let go of hurt, disobedience, or pride. When others hurt us, we hurt. Letting go through forgiveness takes courage, giving up sinful habits we enjoy takes guts, and learning to let God guide us rather than using our own ingenuity takes humility.
To enjoy life as God intends takes a lifetime of letting go. Until we do, the peace we seek will lay unexperienced in our laps, just as the bone I refuse to throw lies in my lap.
Let go of whatever holds you back from God’s best.
Prayer: Father, give us the courage to let go of the things that prevent us from experiencing Your best.
Tweetable: Are you holding on when you need to let go?
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