In all my life, I never thought I would learn one of my greatest life lessons through a Barbie doll. They weren't exactly something I played with, but my daughter did. That was her favorite toy as a child, and one, in particular, was very important to her. She cherished this Barbie doll and took it everywhere with her, so when its head fell off it was quite devastating. Through tears, begging, and pleading, she brought the toy to me. She had complete faith in me, childlike faith, that Dad would be able to fix this for her somehow, someway. There was a moment of hesitation when she didn't want to let her Barbie doll go. Her most cherished item was now in pieces, but she knew she had to let it go in order for it to get fixed.
So often, as adults, we fall into the same predicament. When we have an enormous trial or tribulation before us, one that seems unmanageable or perhaps devastating, we try with everything in us to fix it ourselves. We eventually come to the conclusion that the situation is beyond our ability to repair and so we cry out to God for help. Yet at this point, we often hit a wall. We have a Father, who is willing and capable and ready to help, and even though we are praying and pleading, we still refuse to let go and let God.
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:2-4
We lack the childlike faith, the faith that gets things done, the faith that gets things fixed. And more times than not, we're sitting there, gripping our problems and shouting at God, wondering why He hasn't fixed them yet. Maybe you're struggling with something today - maybe it's finances, or marriage, or something in the form of addiction, and you're ready for it to be over, but part of you isn't ready to hand the reins over to God. Just like my daughter, if she had never let go, I would have never been able to take it into my own hands and repair it for her. Letting go doesn't look like not caring anymore, rather, it looks like letting go of fear and anxiety when we stop gripping onto our problems. It looks like trust and assurance of who's truly in control.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7
We may not always be the source of our problem, or what caused it to accelerate, but more times than not, we're what keeps it going. It’s because we enjoy it, and not because we want to keep it, but simply because we've never learned how to let go. Giving our problems to God may not always look how we want it to. It may not be flashy or instantaneous, but His mercy and timing are always right.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” - Proverbs 16:9
My daughter had absolute faith in me, that even if I wasn't able to fix that doll, because I knew how much it meant to her, I would have gone to any lengths to replace it - if not with the same one, then perhaps with something better. How much more does our Father love us? He is the God of all, the Creator of everything, and who are we to say what He is or isn't capable of? Maybe we're still holding on to that dead, broken doll when He has something entirely different and better in store for us. Maybe it's that child-like faith, the trust in Him, that He's waiting for, simply to give us our true fulfillment.
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life." - Matthew 6:26-27
Husband, father, writer, poet. Two time combat veteran with a passion for homeless ministry.