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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Letting Go and Moving On

"But forget all that--it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?"
- Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT

Years ago, when my oldest son, Joseph, started a Bible club in his high school, I offered to provide rides to all of the students who wanted to attend, but who had no way of getting home. I only had a midsize car, so every week, I made several trips back and forth to school, driving kids to their homes within our community and beyond. As the "club mom," I provided snacks and refreshments for the meetings, and I hosted parties in my home for as many as 50 kids at a time. I organized Christian concert trips. And I studied long hours every week to help my son put together life-changing Bible lessons for the weekly meetings. It was hard work, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, because the grace of God was upon me to do it. When my older son graduated from high school, my younger son, John, assumed leadership of the club, so my involvement with it continued for several more years. During this time, I often thought about how much I would hate having to let go of the club after John graduated, and I prayed that the Lord would help me when the time came. Several months before my son's graduation, I suddenly began dreading my weekly driving chores for the club. What used to be a joy became a tedious obligation, and I couldn't wait until I didn't have to do it anymore. By the end of that year, when my involvement with the club finally came to an end, letting go was a welcome relief.

When my church needed another teacher for their Vacation Bible School program, they called on me. It was my first experience teaching the Word of God, and I relished preparing the lessons, and spending extra time in the Scriptures. I immediately formed a bond with each and every child in my classes, and I knew that I was making an eternal impact on their young lives. As the summer approached in my sixth year of teaching VBS, I suddenly began getting very busy. I had joined the staff of my son, John's, growing internet ministry, and I was spending more and more time on my site-related duties. When I got the usual call from my church to attend our annual VBS teachers' meeting, I had to decline. I explained to the lady in charge that I had just had the busiest weekend of my life, and that I had gotten almost no sleep. She kindly expressed her sympathy and understanding, and she said they would find someone to replace me. After I hung up the phone, I began seeing the faces of all the dear little children whose lives I had touched by the grace of God, and I felt heartsick. I earnestly prayed that the Lord would help me let go, because I knew in my heart that it was time.

Over the years, I've learned how God gives us signals when He wants us to let go of one thing, so that we can take hold of another. Sometimes, He removes His grace, so that a job, position, or task that we once enjoyed becomes tedious and joyless. Other times, the Lord puts pressure on us, squeezing us off the old path, and onto a new one. If we listen carefully, we may hear His voice telling us, "I'm done with that! I have something else I want you to do now..." Every time that God has asked me to let go of one thing, it's been because He has had something even better for me waiting up ahead. After I let go of the Bible club, He gave me the ministry that I have now. After I said goodbye to my VBS involvement, He expanded my ministry and allowed me to touch more lives.

Scripture says: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV) Before we can lay hold of the new things that God wants to do in our lives, we have to let go of the old things. And it's a test of our faith. When we sense that the Lord is leading us into new territory, we can either move forward in faith, or we can shrink back in fear. What we need to remember in times like these is that failing to trust God always robs us of His best. What is the Lord asking you to let go of today? If you'll listen very closely, I believe you'll hear Him say--"Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is!" (Isaiah 43:19 MSG)

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that You've wanted to do a "new thing" in my life, and I've failed to cooperate with You. Today, I ask that You reveal to me those things that You want me to let go of at this time. Thank You for giving me the faith I need to move into the bigger and brighter things that You have planned for me!

- J. M. Farro


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