As long as we keep trying to do it ourselves—even just a little bit—we will continue to get in the way of what God wants to do in and through us. It’s not until we come to the end of ourselves, until we get to the point of total surrender, that we are out of the way enough to offer him the time and space he requires to move and to act. Finally waving the white flag is a necessary act if we ever want God to be the one to lead and guide—and help. He typically doesn’t step in while we are still trying to help ourselves.
I guess that’s why Eugene Peterson translates the first Beatitude (in Matthew 5:3) as: “You are blessed when you get to the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (The Message) Or as a wise saint said many, many years ago: “So long as you hold on to even a little hope of achieving something by your own powers, the Lord does not interfere. It is as though he says: ‘You hope to succeed by yourself—Very well, go on trying! But however long you try you will achieve nothing.’”
There is no such thing as letting go half way. When will we ever learn?
Forgive me, O Lord, for continually trying to do it on my own. Forgive me for my refusal to fully let go of control—as if I ever had it to begin with—and totally surrender to your love and care. Help me to fully trust in you, no matter how scary that might be. Lord, help! Amen.