Read: “When You Need Encouragement”—Quiet Spaces: Prayer Interludes for Women, pp. 36-39.

I remember an analogy a friend of mine used for letting go and letting God. He said, “We decide to trust Jesus, and so we put ourselves out on a limb. We’re scared, but we’re letting go of everything else and just hanging on that limb, trusting that Jesus will take care of us. Then we turn around, and there’s Jesus behind us, sawing off the limb!” He used this story to illustrate how difficult it is to absolutely let go of something and step out in faith. And when we do, we may sometimes feel as if God got it all wrong and things are just getting worse. Then  we are faced with a dilemma. Do we try to take back control, or do we continue to trust?

Few of us are good at letting go of the situations over which we have no control. Deep inside, we have a nagging suspicion that if we do, God may not have heard our prayer and whatever it is that is concerning us will blow up without our intervention. Even if we do reach the point of letting go, we continue to worry about the situation. And, as we worry, we begin to take everything back again until we are right back where we started.

Many of us have had the experience of letting go, worrying, and taking back. I think it’s a common pattern for Christians. We want to make that leap of faith, but there’s always a little voice inside, whispering the worst “What if” of all: “What if God isn’t there for us in this particular situation?”

This is where faith comes in. I remember having a family situation for which I had no answers. I gave it to God—took it back a few times too but ultimately gave it to God. One of my friends said, “Oh, I wish I had your faith.” I replied, “It’s not faith, honey, it’s desperation.”

Maybe we have to reach a point where we realize we can do nothing about a situation. No actions that we take are going to change it. Nothing we say will make a difference. We are powerless, hopeless—desperate.

And then we finally let go. But think of all the stress, turmoil, and heartache we’ve gone through before we reach our desperation point. Think of the sleepless nights and the hours of prayer and the tears and the anger. How much better would it be if we simply let go when we face something we can’t change? Join me in this prayer: God, I give it all to you. I know I can’t do anything about this situation, so I ask you to take it from me. Amen.