In order to save the person you love, you must let them go.
A few months ago, as I was leading our church in a song called New Wine, I sang a line that talked about the soil we surrender and how He can break new ground. Right in that moment God spoke so clearly to me.
He said, “Morgan, surrender the hearts of those you love. Stop grasping for control. Release them to Me.”
Now, there are only a handful of times in my life I’ve felt my Father speak to me so clearly – and this was one of them.
In an instant, the message of that song broke me.
For the rest of the morning, I couldn’t shake what He had said to me.
He had just revealed to me a massive crack in my faith.
Over the last year I had done the hard work of surrendering control of MY life, but I was still holding tight to the hearts and futures of the people I loved most.
I (maybe) wasn’t trying to control my life but I was definitely trying to control the lives of others. I was under the impression (which was camouflaged in helpfulness) that I had the power to heal hearts and I believed it was on me to rescue people. I had burdened myself with the task of saving those in my line of sight.
What I didn’t realize was, by burdening myself with such an impossible task, I was less effective in utilizing my gifts and abilities for the sake of building His Kingdom.
I have allowed the enemy to fixate my mind on the power of ME versus the power of HE.
HE sees the need.
HE sees their heart.
HE loves them more than I do.
HE has a plan.
HE will make a way.
And as for ME, rather than loving by my own strength, it’s time to surrender the hearts of the people I love to Him.
Who do you need to surrender?
Whose heart are you clinging to in hopes your actions can change the outcome?
A child? A spouse? A family member? A best friend? A significant other?
Maybe, like me, you can come up with a never ending list of people you want to impact and save.
Well, it’s time to let go.
Surrendering your personal life and heart to Him is a daily choice, and so is this.
Surrendering the hearts of those you love to Him is something you have to choose to do each and every day.
You were not designed to carry the weight of anyone’s future. You were designed to come alongside His children, be a beam of support, and champion them on.
As I lean into this idea of surrendering those we love, I can’t help but think of Moses and his mama.
Talk about a rockstar woman. She was courageous to the core.
Out of fear the Israelites were becoming too numerous, the Egyptians forced the Israelites into slavery. When they continued to multiply despite the Egyptians efforts to stop them, Pharaoh ordered that every boy born must be thrown into the Nile.
During that time Jochebed gave birth to Moses.
“Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.”
– Exodus 2:1-4
Whenever I read this passage, I picture the way this scene plays out in the movie The Prince of Egypt. This sweet mother desperately trying to protect her baby boy as he is hunted down by soldiers who intend to kill him. I can picture her nestling Moses under her shawl as she hears the trampling feet of soldiers nearby. By the time Moses is three months old, he becomes too loud to keep hidden and she realizes in order to save him, she must let him go.
In order to save the person you love, you must let them go.
I can’t help but wonder how Jochebed came to this decision. I’m not sure what kind of clarity a mother could get in order to decide her only option of saving her son is to put him in a basket and send him floating down the Nile River.
The only answer I can come up with is that Jochebed must have had an incredibly intimate and strong relationship with God to have heard and then obeyed directions like this.
I love what the respected Christian author, Mary Elizabeth Baxter, said, “It would have been a venturesome experiment, if Jochebed had been unable to trust her God.”
There’s no way Jochebed would have been able to take a risk like this if she didn’t have complete trust that God cared more about Moses’ future than she did.
She trusted that God’s plan for Moses was bigger and better than anything she could do for him, so she let him go.
You see, in order to truly surrender those we love most to the God who created them, we must know Him – personally. Because once we really know Him, we will discover He is trustworthy, He has a perfect plan for each of His children, and He is holding each one of us in the palm of His hands.
Without a personal relationship, there is no trust. And without trust, there is no surrender.
The only way Jochebed was able to take her baby boy and let him float down the Nile River in a basket was because she knew God – personally.
And the only way any of us will find that surrender for our lives, or the people we love, is if we know Him – personally.
Do you know what happened after she sent Moses floating down the Nile River?
“Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.
Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?’
‘Yes, go,’ she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.’ So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water.’”
– Exodus 2:5-10
Moses found safety in the hands of Pharaoh’s daughter and without them realizing who she was, Jochebed was asked to feed him.
That is the kind of provision and care God will give to all His children when they are put in His hands.
While Moses encounters his fair share of troubles and mistakes growing up, he eventually hears from God through a burning bush, and God uses him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Had Jochebed not had an intimate enough relationship with God to hear His voice and direction…
Had Jochebed not surrendered her baby boy over to the God who created him…
Had Jochebed not recklessly trusted God…
Honestly, I don’t know.
My mind goes to Moses being found by the Egyptian soldiers and killed. And if that happened, then what might have been the history of the Israelites and the Promised Land?
Luckily, our God is bigger than our disobedience and His plan would have prevailed no matter what…but still, look at the fruit that came from Jochebed surrendering Moses.
What fruit is waiting to grow because you haven’t yet given over the hearts of someone you love to Him?
I never want anyone in my life to be held back from His incredibly wonderful plans for them because I clung too tightly.
I never want my fear or lack of trust to be the reason someone isn’t fully leaning into the plans He has for them.
I want to recklessly trust God, like Jochebed did, and send those I love down the Nile River in a basket. Completely free of my grip. Totally surrendered to the work of His hands.
Believing I am the answer for any of their broken hearts or challenging situations, will only hurt me…and hurt them.
Instead, each morning as I get on my knees, I am going to take each worry, person I love, and fear I have, and pile it high in the basket. Then, with a resounding AMEN, I am going to send that basket floating down the Nile letting the waves of His perfect plans lead the way.
But I won’t just do this one time, because I know that 24 hours later, I’ll be trying to cling tightly again.
Instead, each morning I will choose to recklessly trust Him with those I love most.
You are not the person who can save them. You cannot heal them. You don’t have the ability to fix their problems.
That’s His job.
It’s time to let go. It’s time to trust Him.
Come on…do it with me. Fill up that basket and send it floating.
And the fruit that will come…man, oh man…it’s going to be incredible.
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Morgan Colander, Journey Online Ministry Coordinator
Morgan is a mountain obsessed, Colorado native, donut loving, follower of Jesus who wants nothing more than to be a part of building God’s Kingdom. For four years she lived out her dream of being a second-grade teacher and then stepped into full time ministry at Journey when she felt God calling her to begin a new chapter. She is always in pursuit of the next adventure and finds unbridled joy doing life alongside all her favorite people.