Feeling especially grateful on a recent night, I whispered, “Thank you, God, for this day,” as I closed my eyes. This small prayer has now become a regular practice. I have found that releasing the day in gratitude helps to settle my soul and quiet my mind for a more restful night. Whatever the day has held, whatever tomorrow will bring, I practice thanking God for the gift of life as I surrender myself into God’s care.

“Practice” is a good word for this, because there are times when I find the surrendering difficult. There are times when I still awaken during the night and all sorts of concerns soon invade my mind. I marvel at the number of new worries that arise, worries that were hidden during the daylight hours. But worrying doesn’t solve the problems; sleep only comes when I can release them back to God. The release brings the relief I need for my peaceful rest.

And I notice that a deeper, genuine peace has come when I — in desperation — have surrendered my entire being, my entire life and those I love, into God’s care. In my times of cancer, marital struggles (and eventual divorce), and other worrisome uncertainties, I actually felt a physical sense of relief, a lightness of being, when I finally surrendered myself to God. My prayers changed from pleas for each concern to “Whatever happens, God, my loved ones and I are in your good care – and we will be okay.” Individual worries then seemed to wane; let them come, I am being held by God.

When we can entrust ourselves to God, our surrender becomes both a release and a relief. The trials will come, but we are never left to face them alone. Our concerns, our outcomes, and our control are lovingly held by the One who remains the infinitely gracious, divine mystery beyond our comprehension.

When we let go, God holds us.

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. ~ Hermann Hesse

(Photo by Karen)

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  1. When everything’s fading away,
    when every trace of hope is gone,
    when the monster’s come to stay,
    you’re gonna find me holding on.
    Maybe I should lean into God,
    place the whole mess in His hands.
    Maybe my paradigm is flawed,
    but I hope He understands
    that I was born and bred for this,
    and trained for battle from my youth.
    It now would be a Judas-kiss
    to turn from what I know’s the truth
    that was me from the beginning
    that I’m meant to go down swinging.


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