Letting go - Hope 103.2

Letting go

By David ReayThursday 31 Oct 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Ruth 1:1-7

1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel,a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab,taking his wife and two sons with him. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech,and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab,they settled there.

3 Then Elimelech died,and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah,and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later,5 both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone,without her two sons or her husband.

6 Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living,and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. (NLT)

There comes a time to move on. A time to accept that this place,this activity,this network of relationships,this ministry,this season of life has to end. At its best,this is a time of gracious surrender,a willingness to let go of one thing in order to take hold of another.

Naomi realised life had taken unexpected turns for her and she turned her face towards her ancestral home and in doing so changed her own life and the lives of many. It was in some ways a sad sort of surrender,very much prompted by family tragedy. And yet,it was a surrender that led to freedom and blessing for her.

Surrender is not so much about giving up as about moving on. It need not be an abject and dismal admission of defeat. It can be a recognition that things have changed and no amount of mourning or temper tantrums can alter the fact. Naomi did not let her sadness paralyse her. She did not let her sorrowful past rob her of a more positive future.

There is a time for each of us to surrender and accept the end of a season,a relationship,a ministry. Such a surrender is akin to burying an old dream and letting a new one come to birth. Naomi could only experience the goodness of God in Bethlehem by letting go of her life in Moab. Surrender entails loss but also opens us up to much gain. Only by letting go can we take hold.

David Reay

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