Relinquish – 1. to give up (a task, struggle, etc.); abandon 2. to surrender or renounce (a claim, right, etc.) 3. to release; let go
In a recent prayer time, as I first turned on my music and barely began to pray, there was one word rolling around in my mind…RELINQUISH…”Okay…” I thought. What does that mean? I decided to write it down and come back to it so I could look it up. Don’t get me wrong; I have a general idea of what this word means as many of you do, but I sensed the Lord wanting to say something more specific to me about that word at that time.
As I continued in my time with the Lord, my mind was immediately taken back to one of the most miserable New Years Eve nights of my life. It was the eve of 2005 and I was wearing my “best” work jeans and oversized T shirt, complete with paint drippings and an “amazing” up-do which had only taken seconds to fix, without the help of a mirror I might add, about 16 hours earlier. We were doing a major home improvement that week. We were staining the concrete in our house. If you aren’t familiar with this process or the work involved, I’ll just say, it’s not for the faint of heart! (it turned out beautifully though!) Anyway, you can imagine our exhaustion. Kevin sent me and the kids up to the grocery store for some sparkling cider so we could “party”at midnight. He knew I needed to get out of the house.
As we pulled into the parking lot I decided, since I was looking so fabulous, that I would send the kids in. I was feeling heavy and upset about something, (I don’t even remember now what it was). I’m sure my fatigue wasn’t helping anything either, but in that moment, sitting in the car, an old hymn came on the radio. All that kept going through my mind was “surrender… surrender… surrender”. In my mind’s eye, I could see a hand, facing palm up, completely open. I knew God was showing me in that moment to give whatever it was to Him. I broke into tears and did just that. I completely turned it loose and let go of it. Maybe that’s why I don’t remember what it was, because I felt such a burden lift off of me in that moment. The kids and I returned home with sparkling cider and me, with a newly “sparkling” outlook.
Flash forward to today. One of the words used to define the word “relinquish” is “surrender”. Isn’t it curious how all of these years later, He has to tell me the same thing, AGAIN??? Not to mention all the times in between? There are so many things every day that we think we need to hold on to so that WE can fix it and WE can worry about it and WE can figure it out and WE can deal with it…I know I’m not the only one…RIGHT? But there is a better way. A MUCH better way.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30
28 …“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
I like the part that says, “and you will find rest for your souls.” Another way to think of the word “soul” is your mind, your will and your emotions. That is our “soul” realm. And isn’t that exactly where we get “burdened” down…in our mind, will and emotions? That’s where the heaviness is. Jesus said that if we will surrender, or relinquish those things that bring us down and make us feel heavy, that we will find rest for our souls 🙂
I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds good to me! Sometimes we get so used to carrying all that stuff around and we become accustomed to the weight of it. Kind of like wearing roller blades, or roller skates. You get so used to them, that you don’t realize how heavy they are…UNTIL you remove them! Aaaahhh… What relief! How lightly you walk once those things come off! You feel as if you are walking 10 feet off the ground!
How much MORE does our Savior want to do the same for us because He loves us 🙂 When I give (I mean REALLY give) something to Him, I actually feel lighter.
I’m reminded of one other scripture in 1 Peter 5:7. I’ll quote it from the Amplified version of the bible.
7Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him], for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
Both of these scriptures are invitations to roll our burdens onto Him. This is the part that requires trust. I remember an old saying, “Let go and Let God.” I encourage you to do that with whatever it is you are facing today, because He promises that you can trust Him with it. Relinquish and surrender the weight of your worries, trusting that He will refresh your soul.