Is letting someone go loving them or giving up on them?
What about God’s design – letting us choose to either love and obey Him, or to live a life of rebellion that ends up with us eternally separated from Him – is that Him loving us, or throwing in the towel and giving up on those that don’t bow down and worship Him?
I think that the answers come down to the situation. If I give up trying to learn something new without even trying, you would call me a quitter. For example, if I was a child and you were trying to teach me how to fold a paper airplane, and all the other children were folding their airplanes, but I refused – you might encourage me, you might take extra time to give me pointers and extra instruction. But if even after that individual attention and effort, I still refused to try, and I quit – you might be concerned that I’m a quitter at heart.
But if you see me trying over and over again diligently only to fail time and time again, you might honor my diligence but realize that I’m not capable of the task at hand, and hope that at some point I might be worse enough to give up and learn that it is beyond my abilities. For example, if you see me at 5’6″ trying over and over again to dunk a basketball and never even coming close to the rim, you might eventually consider me to be either foolish or insane if I did not come to the conclusion that it was beyond my abilities to dunk a basketball.
So doesn’t it matter whether we are trying our not?
If a parent hands over their child to the state because they do not want the hassle of a child getting in the way of their party lifestyle, isn’t that different than a parent that knows that they’ve tried and there is no way for them to provide a safe and healthy environment for that child?
Whether the decision is big or small, doesn’t it come down to the amount of effort we are willing to put forth?
Doesn’t it come down to heart?
Doesn’t it come down to the “why” that is underneath the visible, outside evidence of the choice?
You see, the “why” is the meat of the issue.
We can look at the visible evidence of choices that others make in their lives, but without knowing the “why”, is it fair at all to judge their decisions?
So if we want to understand God, isn’t it important for us to dig for some level of understanding about “why” He allows us to choose between rebellion and obedience, between forgiving and judging, between faith and disbelief, between love and hate, between patience and irritability, between joy and misery, between peace and worry, between a life focused on self and a life surrendered to Him.
You see, He knows who we are. We don’t. He knows what will happen if we actually try to fold that paper airplane and we complete the task at hand. He knows that we will be amazed when we see it flying and soaring and floating through the air. He knows that we are capable.
But we think of ourselves as the little 5’6″ boy who can’t even reach the rim. Most of us sell ourselves short without even trying to reach the rim.
You see, He can lift us up to heights we can’t even imagine.
The “why” is uncovered by whether or not we are trying.
Proverbs 21:2 NLT
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.
But He doesn’t expect us to do it alone, and He doesn’t ask us to do anything that He doesn’t give us the strength to accomplish through Him:
Isaiah 41:9-10 NLT
I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
So let’s choose to soar today.