Patricia Hofer

Letting go and trusting Christ

In simple trust like theirs who heard Beside the Syrian sea The gracious calling of the Lord, Let us, like them, without a word Rise up and follow Thee. (John Greenleaf Whittier 1872)

For most of us, having trust probably doesn’t appear to be so simple, particularly if by simple we mean easy. No one can show us how to trust. And perhaps worst of all, we believers don’t always know for sure whether we’re truly trusting or just deceiving ourselves. But the Lord knows.

For example, Jesus wasn’t throwing out a blind invitation to an unknown crowd “beside the Syrian sea.” His attention was already focused on the willing and open hearts of Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and John, two other brothers. At that moment, these men probably didn’t even fully understood what Jesus meant by his promise that they would be “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19; Mark 1:17). But they quit fishing anyway, and they walked away with Jesus. Such trust wasn’t easy—they left everything behind. But it was singular, a “simple trust” in the Lord himself.

I’ve always visualized leaving everything behind in this way as similar to our letting go of a lakeside dock—knowing full well that we can’t swim! All that we’re sure of at that point is that we’re done with the dock. And the “dock” that dominates our experience is our physical body and brain and the identity they give us. That’s why death is so scary. No matter what we choose to hold onto—religious promises or reincarnation research or even well-documented “near death” experiences—that moment of letting go is a huge moment of trust.

For me, it’s been easier to trust a Person rather than a theory or philosophy or doctrine. The living Saviour, who has guided and companioned me through many struggles, isn’t ever going to abandon me. And that’s true for you as well. The Lord knows each of us. His outreached hand is waiting, open and ready for ours.

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