“Be Still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) is one of my favorites. It reminds me to let go and trust God to do God’s will. The word “be still” in Hebrew literally means “let go”. The New American Standard Version says, “Cease striving” and in the margin says, “Let go and relax.”
I am a very hyperactive obsessive/compulsive person. I often have to remind myself to “calm down,” to let go and relax. My friend Rev. Marge Ragona used to tell me, “Get over yourself!” She hit the nail on the head for me! Part of our persistent approach to dealing with internal homophobia and low self-esteem is to try too hard and fail to pace ourselves and give ourselves a break from the action. We try to play God and do it all ourselves. We have learned to run as fast as we can in one place and never really go anywhere.
DON’T GIVE UP ON GOD
God really does care for you. When I was pastor of my first church while I was a student at Furman University in 1953, I went with a group of my classmates to hear a very forceful flamboyant evangelist in Spartanburg, SC. The message of the evangelist was that unless you felt saved, you weren’t. Somehow, that message hit me and knocked me into a spiritual tailspin that lasted for several months. I began to doubt everything. I did not have the exact experience or feelings that the evangelist demanded.
I was trying to force myself to fit into the religious ideas and experience of someone else. I felt like a total failure. I could not do it. One good thing that happened in this was that I decided to search the New Testament and read everything that I could find about salvation. I found no place where salvation was connected with feeling! John 3:16-17 helped me the most. I finally prayed and told God that if I went to hell, I would go trusting in Jesus. That hit me as so silly and unacceptable that I began to wake up to the truth about the false teachings about feelings and exact experiences of being “born again” that I had heard and accepted without question for a long time.
The one text that still rings in my head that settled things for me was I Peter 5:7, “Cast all of your anxiety upon God, because God cares for you.” God cares for you. When we say “God loves you,” we sometimes get distracted by the many contradictory meanings of “love” in our culture. God does care for you and tells us to care for one another.
HERE ARE SOME REASONS NOT TO GIVE UP ON GOD:
1. God is always greater than your need.
2. God always is greater than your enemy.
3. God always loves you more than you do.
4. God always has better plans for you than you do.
5. God always gives you what is good for you.
6. God always is available to you.
7. God gives you what you could never give to yourself.
8. Whatever God gives to you can never be taken from you.
How have you handled your doubts about God and your relationship to God? Sometimes we just need to let go and trust God whether we understand any of it or not.
The author of Invitation To Freedom and Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse, Rev. Rembert S. Truluck served in Metropolitan Community Churches in Atlanta, San Francisco and Nashville from 1988 to 1996. He earned a doctorate in sacred theology from Furman University, serving from 1953 to 1973 as a Southern Baptist preacher. He resigned as a professor at Baptist College at Charleston (now Charleston Southern University) and became an MCC pastor after being outed to the college’s board of trustees.