May 19, 2014

Catch and Release

When I was little I use to go fishing. I loved holding the pole, touching the worm and the fish, not so much. It was always so exciting to finally get a fish on the line and reel it in. Do you remember it? You stand there with your fish on the pole and smile at your mom for a Kodak moment that you would see in about 4 months after the rest of the roll of film was finished {:because digital was nonexistent:}. You were beaming with pride at your accomplishment, then those dreaded words came: "okay, now lets throw him back." Your heart sank a little as the very thing that had you smiling from ear to ear and posing for a picture only moments ago, now has to go back into the place you worked so hard to lure it out of.

Isn't this a great metaphor for life with God? It makes me think of the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. Hannah is one of Elkanah's wives. She is actually the one he loves the most, but she is unable to have any children. Elkanah's other wife had two children and constantly rubbed it in Hannah's face. Not only was Hannah barren, but she was also mocked and taunted about it by Peninnah. This poor woman was so distraught over this that she went into the Tabernacle and prayed. She was praying so fervently that the priest, Eli, declared her drunk. She wasn't drunk she was just in desperate pain and longing to have a child. In that prayer Hannah made a promise to God that if he would give her a child she would dedicate them to God. God heard her cry and gave her the desire of her heart. Catch. Hannah had a son named Samuel. After he was weaned she took Samuel to Eli at the Tabernacle and left him in his care. She made good on her promise.

WHAT?! God you answered her prayer only to take it away from her? This doesn't even make sense. Wouldn't the pain of giving your son up be far greater than the pain of never giving birth? 

I don't think this was the case for Hannah because she was dedicated to God not the promise. {:Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.-Luke 14:27:}I believe that God was able to trust her with something as special as Samuel because he knew that her focus wasn't on the promise, even when it was her own son, but on God, her deepest heart's desire. Release.

This story makes so much sense in my life right now. In this season I find myself having to release so many of the things I once caught as an answered prayer. 

Four years ago I prayed that God would make a way, when one didn't seem possible, for me to purchase the home I am now living in. Six years ago I prayed for a teaching job. I preferred kindergarten, but would have taken anything. I got a kindergarten job. I prayed for amazing relationships with girlfriends. Now, I have so many that I am going broke from all their weddings and babies. Then, God asked me to release all these answered prayers back to Him and move to Australia. He was asking me to release my house, my job, and the ability to have an impromptu girls night with my besties. Catch and Release

It also makes me think of my mama. I know that before I was born my mom prayed for a baby. In her heart of hearts she wanted a girl, but just knew I was a boy because she wanted a girl too bad. In the hospital, when they announced to her in delivery that I was a girl, she almost don't believe them. God saw her hearts desire and gave it to her. Catch Then, 27 years later God would ask her to give that promise back to him so that that same girl could follow His calling and will for her life....around the world. Release

Releasing the very promises we fervently once prayed for isn't easy, but it's Gods way of keeping our eyes on Him and not the world or the promises around us. God wants to give us our desires, but His truest desire is to be our greatest hearts cry. Many of our deepest desires are met when Jesus knows we would give them back to Him if he asked.

Catch and Release

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1 comment:

  1. I love the analogy you used! I also cannot WAIT to follow along with your adventures once you move over to Australia :)


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