On our recent visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, my husband and I took a short walk to the Old East Entrance Station. We walked down a trail through a prairie dog town to get there, which had its own cool factor!
The entrance was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was established by the U.S. Congress in 1933 to provide jobs for young men during the Great Depression. They did a great job constructing the building and pylons, as they are still standing strong over 80 years later, even after falling into disuse. The entrance was moved when a highway was constructed nearby, and since then nature has been working on reclaiming the area.
There is now no sign of the road used by lines of cars when the entrance opened. It’s been said that nature abhors a vacuum, and this is one bit of evidence supporting that notion. Need another? Just clean out a patch of dirt, and give it a few weeks. It may only be days before you see life sprouting up again where you thought there was none!
Genesis tells us that in the beginning, God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” (Genesis 1:11, NLT) In the beginning, He set something in motion which continues to this day.
A.W. Tozer writes this in The Pursuit of God: “The why of natural law is the living Voice of God immanent in his creation.” God said it, it was so, and it remains so today. His word never changes, no matter the shifting sands of culture or circumstance. “The Word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:25)
Just as nature reclaims what we release, so God restores the life released to Him. God created each of us to be in relationship with Him not as equals, but as created and Creator, servant and Master, loved and Lover of our souls, child and Heavenly Father. Fighting for our own way, striving for the things we want in this world, doing all that we can to be accepted and admired by others…all these things only wear us down, and forever elude us. There will always be someone who has more, is more, and can do more, and we will never have peace so long as the things of this world are our goals and priorities.
When we release our lives to our Father, we find peace and strength in submitting to and trusting in his will and plan for our lives. Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:39) The things of this world fade away in importance when we place Him in his rightful place as King of our hearts, and we find that in “giving up” our lives for him, we find a much deeper and more fulfilling one instead. There is no more need to fight for our rights or slave away to accumulate things that have no eternal value.
Just as God’s word set creation in motion and continues to uphold it, so the words of Jesus still stand true today. Nature reclaims the land that we release, and God reclaims the lives released into his hands. He restores them to proper relationship with Himself, and fills them with his peace and wholeness.
How are you doing in your letting go? Take time today for an inventory.
- What area of your life do you struggle trusting God with?
- What are you holding onto so tightly that it’s getting in the way of your view of your loving Father?
Talk to him about your life as it stands today. Ask him to help you surrender all of it to him, and trust him to do it. Take that step of faith, and find peace that goes beyond explanation or understanding. He is faithful, and will not leave the seeking heart waiting for long!