Lesson eight of our Bible study, Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy, is called “Learning to Let Go.” I have about 20 minutes to work on this (instead of my usual 3 hours!! yes I do normally spend that much time on these posts, part of the reason why this one is over a month late!)
I’ve really been overwhelmed with life and stuff that’s going on lately and this Bible study seems huge. It takes a lot of time (for me) to dig into the verses and then deciding what to blog about it is torturous!! But I really want to finish the study (I started it, I should finish it!) so try I will.
I could relate to what Gwen Kik, the co-author of this book, wrote about hanging in a pit. About a year and a half after my first husband died, I realized that I felt as if I was hanging on the edge of a cliff, clinging to the edge for dear life. And yet. . . when I looked closer, it wasn’t so much that I was hanging on, but that the LORD was lying up there on the top of the cliff and holding on to me. Even if I let go of my grip, I would still be OK because He had a hold of me and He wasn’t going to let go!
A few months after losing my baby, I was talking with a friend who has been there and done that four times!! and was (and still is) dealing with an immense emotional situation right now. She talked about the passage in Luke chapter 8, where Jesus was on His way to heal the daughter of Jairus. A woman in the crowd, who had had an issue of blood for twelve years and yet could not find relief from this from doctors, saw Him. She knew that if she only touched the edge of His robe that she would be healed. Her issue was more than just debilitating, she would also be considered ceremonially unclean and banned from public gatherings (see Leviticus 15). . . she knew that she had no business being in the crowd and therefore (I think) did not dare to approach Jesus directly.
And yet she knew what would help her. And indeed, immediately upon touching the hem of His garment, the blood dried up! And Jesus knew it too. . . this is such a wonderful picture of His grace and power.
Anyway, my friend mentioned that this passage was helping her through this painful time she is dealing with and it resonates with me, too. The only way that I will move on from losing my baby is to cling to Him.
In essence. . . in order to let go I must hold fast to Him. . . or am I being held fast by Him? 🙂
I was also greatly encouraged in this chapter by the poem they included (which I will include here because I like it so much!) I sent it to the aforementioned friend. . . it struck a chord with her as well in her situation.
On the Waters of Sorrow
O My child, I am coming to thee walking upon the waters of the sorrows of thy life; yea, above the sounds of the storm ye shall
hear My voice calling thy name.
Ye are never alone, for I am at thy right hand. Never despair, for I am watching over and caring for thee. Be not anxious. What seemeth to thee to be at present a difficult situation is all part of My planning, and I am working out the details of circumstances to the end that I may bless thee and reveal Myself to thee in a new way.
As I have opened thine eyes to see, so shall I open thine ears to hear, and ye shall come to know Me even as did Moses, yea, in a face-to-face relationship.
For I shall remove the veil that separates Me from thee and ye shall know Me as thy dearest Friend and as thy truest Comforter.
No darkness shall hide the shining of My face, for I shall be to thee as a bright star in the night sky. Never let thy faith waver. Reach out thy hand, and thou shalt touch the hem of My garment.
FRANCES ROBERTS, COME AWAY MY BELOVED (1970)
As far as the Bible verses in this chapter, my favorite by far was the account of the Transfiguration (found in Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9.) This is the one where Jesus took his three closest friends up onto a mountainside to pray. While praying, something happened, and suddenly Moses and Elijah appear with him and they discuss amongst themselves Jesus’ upcoming death.
Peter, James, and John (the closest friends) wake up and see the three talking and offer to make shelters (tabernacles) for them. . . and then Moses and Elijah are gone.
The study asks a question that I have been asking for a long time (and not getting an answer for!) which is: How did Peter, James, and John recognize Moses and Elijah?
It’s been suggested that something in the conversation gave this away. . . perhaps Jesus referred to them by name. . . maybe they referenced events from their time on earth that the disciples would have identified with them. . . I still don’t have an answer for it.
But two things strike me about this. One, that Moses and Eliajah are alive! Still alive? Alive again? Hard to say. And two, that the disciples recognized these men that they had never before met.
Both of these give me hope for when I (finally) get to heaven and can see my baby Shelomith (which means “peaceful”) again.
Next posting for this study (which may be another month yet, although I hope to finish sooner; we’ll see what happens!) is the last chapter of the study, “Finding Joy.”