My husband and I are in a class with many of our other church members in some form of leadership. This class is designed to teach discipleship and a closer relationship with God and also set you free of things from your past that may hinder your relationship. In one of the videos the speaker taught how we don't always turn things over to God. He used a ball of string to demonstrate. We have this messy ball of string (problems, issues) and we hand it over to God, but we keep hold of the little end, and sometimes start pulling it back towards ourselves.
However, I'd like to take it farther.
Our messy lives, our issues, our "personal problems" or even our big mountains in life could be seen as a big ugly sweater. Sometimes we try to take the ugly thing off, but can't seem to find our way out of it. Sometimes we get it off, hand it over, but hold on to a thread from it (like the string illustration). Sometimes I think all we hand God is the end of the thread and we keep the ugliness in our hands.
Now, if we hand Him the end, and keep seeking His will, and keep seeking his way to deal with it, I believe he will unravel that sweater, and eventually have it all. It might be a long time, and have some strange things going on halfway. It may not be ideal, but at least you are letting it go, giving it up. Again, this is not God's ultimate plan for ridding you of stuff, but I have seen it work. Willingness is key.
If we manage to take it off and hand it over, but hold onto the end of the thread a few different things can happen. We could think we are set free, or even tell other people we have had breakthrough, but really, there it is, in our tight little fist. Holding onto the past, not fully trusting. Eventually, we will start pulling it back to our selves, leaving us a big tangled mess of yarn on our hands, or worse, we knit that back into the big ugly sweater and put it back on. But it's worse now. Perhaps we don't wear it and just hide it in the closet, but there it is, still in our possession.
Ultimately, like a small child, we should throw our hands up to Papa, ask for help, and He will gently lift that sweater right over our heads and throw it away.
It takes faith and trust.
We are cynical people, in a jaded world, full of darkness and lies.
Yet, He offers us freedom and peace.
I am examining my heart to see where I hid those sweaters. It's time to let them go.