I rushed out of my apartment and raced down the stairs to the parking lot. It was time for church, the third time this week! During my medical internship year in Denver, Colorado, I attended a new Christian church, founded a year before I arrived. Like myself, nearly the entire congregation were younger adults, many with families. I was welcomed and embraced as one of their own and I formed many lasting friendships. I even signed a plaque, joining the signatures of the founding members of this nascent church.
It was the pastor’s preaching and teaching that inspired and motivated me to return several times a week. There was a Wednesday evening service, Sunday school in the morning for adults, Sunday morning service, and a Sunday evening service-all taught by this one Pastor. Even with my busy medical duties, I always was able to attend nearly every service. I fondly remember this period of my life for it created a critical foundation for my young and faltering faith. At the end of the year, I left Denver and moved to Los Angeles to continue my residency. For years, I drifted from one church to another. There were many good preachers, but I was never able to find one that inspired me like my former pastor. I was hypercritical, neglecting the other blessings that God was providing me in these churches. I was unwilling to move on.
I needed to let go.
God’s grace is always praiseworthy, but the memories of His blessings can sometimes become an idol and an obstacle to moving forward. I kept returning to the memory that times were better when God was blessing me with this pastor. This was definitely proof of God’s grace in my life but it had become an idol for me. I focused upon this rather than seek to progress in my relationship with God and others.
“If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”
Exodus 16:3 (NLT)
Even when they were in captivity in Egypt, God blessed the Israelites with abundant food and took care of their material needs. A short time later, after God delivered them from their captors by a series of miraculous plagues and culminating in their deliverance through the Red Sea, they found themselves wandering in the desert. What should have been an opportunity for all of them to look forward to being led to the Promised land, became a wasted experience to complain and fall back upon their memories of former blessings. Surely God could not be planning anything better for them? It was better when we were captives in Egypt!
Sometimes we need to let go of the memories of some of God’s blessings. God will always give us something new, not necessarily better if we only judge things by the world or our standards. Why? God also seeks to renew and reinforce His promise to never leave us nor forsake us, all we need to do is trust Him and allow Him to extend His grace and mercy.
We need to let go of our lives to allow God to take hold of our lives.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.