How many times has some well-meaning Christian friend or advisor told you that?
You can’t control it, so just let it go. Trust God. He’ll handle it.
Does that rankle your nerves as it does mine? I hate being told that, and I hate hearing that seeming cliche come out of my mouth to another believer.
It’s a common response to a painful situation that we don’t know what to do with. When someone we know is forging through the aftermath of a senseless loss, trying to survive a betrayal or struggling to overcome a recurring sin, we often don’t know what to suggest. That’s because we are as fallible as they are. We are as fragile as they are. Even if we have crossed that particular bridge before, replaying our story and offering our solution often comes out with an air of superiority or false empathy.
Recently, I sat across the table from a gentle mentor who said no such thing. In fact, I am amazed that she sat with me for nearly two hours, listened intently to my pain, watched my public display of agony and never once said, “Oh, I’ve been there too. I know exactly how you feel.” It was after those soothing hours of verbally releasing my hurt that I told my journal, “I think I finally know what it feels like to ‘give it to God.'”
It’s like flipping the latch on my own cage. I had been chained to stare at my pain. Like a canary in a tiny cage, able only to watch the cat threaten and mock him. All along, the vulnerable little bird had the power to flip the latch and not only avoid the anguish of mediating upon his impending doom, but to fly away to safety. When he discovered that latch and flipped the lever, the pain didn’t go away. In fact, the pain could now leap with even greater possibility at his feet. But also, he now had the indisputable power to fly higher and farther away than the pain could ever reach.