Fence Post of Faith July--2016
Hold loosely to the reins son…
  My dad use to say don’t hold your reins to tight, there is a time to hold them tight and a time to hold loosely. I have watched a lot of barrel racers in my life time, the good ones never held there reins to tight either.  It takes a good barrel racer to hold the reins just right, to pull when needed to make a good barrel turn and let go to get the most out of their run.  

     One very good rider is Mesa Levitt. I was amazed how well she rode all those big horses as small as she was and do it with a smile on her face. Some would say Oh they just bought good horses, but to me it take a good rider to keep a good horse in line. It takes a driver to drive your truck and trailer on the road, it takes a pilot to fly a plane, and it takes a good rider to hold the reins. 

    A quote by Corrie ten Boom "Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open." Reminded me of what my dad use to tell me and it also reminded me of  Job, who had suffered the loss of his ten children, had learned the hard lesson of holding onto God’s gifts with loose fingers. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. May the name of the LORD be blessed!” (Job 1:21) Are you grasping something—or someone—too tightly? Loosen your grip.

Life makes us loose our grip in many ways as well,  whether it’s running a good horses, a child we need to let them find  their own in life, or even surrender our life to a higher power. I still remember a night at a Baptist Revival my mom turned to me and my sister and said this is the last night, you need to go forward.  I was sitting in the pews with my two sisters, feeling alone, yet surrounded by friends. My life, up until that moment, was pretty good for a 10 yr old. As I got older I understood it wasn’t my last chance.
But on this particular night I was given an invitation to surrender my heart and life to Jesus. I remember tears streaming down my face, my heart beating wildly, and I ran. I ran to the altar to Pastor Russell Adams who is 90 this year and is still actively preaching in Buffalo Mo. I sobbed like a child should, and I surrendered.
From that moment on, my life has been a series of surrenders. None quite that dramatic, but all have altered who I am in some way. The Lord asked me at 19 to surrender my party lifestyle because He had a better way, so I surrendered that way of living to Him.
He asked me to surrender my life as a single man to marry the girl of my dreams, so we could share together what it meant to follow Him. I was almost 22 she was 18, I had good job with the railroad. But then in 1982 had to loosen my reins more, we had one child and I had to move to New Mexico for the railroad to keep my seniority. I know many of you are thinking moving to New Mexico doesn’t sound like much of a surrender! But moving wasn’t easy. When you move from living close to family—the only support you’ve known as a young family—the unknown can be scary. And at first, I kicked and screamed, and cried (for real). “Lord, there must be some mistake. Surely, you have the wrong people.” But He had dreams for us that we had no idea about.
When the Lord wants us to surrender something it’s not because He’s on a power trip or likes to watch us squirm. His heart towards us is good and pure. He knows those things that have control of us that we need to let go of. He knows what needs to happen to build our character and move us forward into our destiny.
In Genesis 22:1-14 God asked Abraham to surrender His only son. How could He do that? Didn’t He remember how long Abraham and Elizabeth had waited to have a child? As Abraham was about to obey God and kill his only son, the Lord interjected, “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (vs. 12).
God wants to know if we’ll surrender and follow Him no matter what. He wants to know if He’s more important than our dreams, our house, our stuff, our ministries- or have any of these things become more important than God (an idol)?
Here’s what I’ve learned along my forty-seven year journey since my first surrender in those pews: God can be trusted, there are things we may never know about what He’s protecting us from. He promises that He’ll walk through this with us, He has something far greater than anything we try to hold on to. There truly is a blessing in surrendering.
James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Whatever He’s doing in your life, surrender it to Him; He’s got this. I promise.
Jeff Metcalf