“Give it to God”
What does that even mean?? This has been one of my biggest struggles in my walk as a Christian, and also one of my biggest annoyances.
Just last week I was sitting with a group of friends when someone told my best friend (who is in the midst of a storm that doesn’t seem to ever end) “Just give it to God.” I rolled my eyes. I’m a little too good at that these days.
See, we live these double lives. We live in the World, in the flesh. But we also live with Christ. And some days? This balancing act is just too much. Our ultimate goal is that our relationship with Christ will win out, but all too often the battle of the flesh wins. And this is when we need to do just that, give it to God.
Isaiah 41:10 shows us that we should not fear or be dismayed for he will strengthen us. Which is great. But how? How do I let go of these worldly struggles and just hand it to him?
Sure, I can sit down in my comfy chair and close my eyes and start to pray. I can tell God about my problem, that comes easily. I can ask him to handle my problem. That comes easily too. But once I’m done with that prayer? I so often pick that problem right back up and start fighting with it. (So I gave it to Him, but then I took it back. How frustrating that must be for Him!! When the answer is so simple, LEAVE IT!!)
Once I had a wise woman tell me that she would visualize herself handing Jesus a box with whatever her problem was inside. That really resonated with me, because I’m a visual person. But I took it a step farther.
When I am truly struggling? I leave everything behind and get alone with God. (Often, this involves a small hike.) I’ll find a tree to sit and rest against, and I’ll pray. I’ll pour my heart out to God. Then I’ll just sit for a bit, with my eyes closed.
I will imagine the tree at my back is the cross, and that Christ is standing before me. (Matthew 11:28 reminds us to come to Him when we are weary and He will give us rest.) I hand him my box, inside is whatever my problem may be. And he will take it, set it at the base of the cross and at that moment I know he has the situation in control. And I know, with all that is in me that I need to leave it with him. I cannot pick that box back up.
Once I’ve reflected for a bit? I walk away. Remembering in my mind the image of my box of junk sitting at the foot of the Cross. (If it’s a HUGE problem? I’ll find a small stick on the ground and take it with me. Carrying that stick in my pocket will be a reminder of the box I left at the cross.)
Is it a bit cheesy? Maybe. But for me, this visual exercise really helps me to leave these problems with God. Sure, I’ll continue to pray about them. But holding that small twig in my hand, will remind me that I need to just say a quick prayer, and remember that I’ve left that problem with God. I can’t interfere with his work, or he won’t be able to do his work with me bumbling around!
So yes, it’s often a struggle to “Give it to God” – but it’s clearly what scripture tells us to do. With prayer, the Word and a few little moments of quiet time? We can give Him all of our problems, and then wait patiently for instruction from him on where to go next.