The river flows. A woman wades through reeds as she holds what is most dear to her close to her heart. She lays her baby in a papyrus basket. And lets go. He’s swept by the running waters into God’s plans and purposes, which are bigger than her own.
Though that doesn’t take the hurt away — the pain of giving up her dream, her hope, her love, her son. Her plan would be to keep him always by her side, so she could watch him grow, nurture him, and love on him.
But the river carries Moses away from his mother, and Jochebed is left with an ache as she stands knee deep in the drifting current. She can’t take him back. He was never hers alone to keep. Always God’s.
Because she let go, her son’s life was saved from infanticide and Moses grew up to be one of God’s greatest leaders, chosen to deliver the Hebrew people from Egyptian slavery with signs and wonders. Jochebed’s selfless love led to a divine plan where oceans parted, water gushed from rocks, heavenly fire visited mountains and a nation was set apart as God’s special treasure.
She surrendered what was most dear to her and exchanged her plans for God’s ways.
A plan not her own
Mary too needed to learn to let go.
From the moment Christ was born He was not hers alone to keep. Her dream, her hope, her love, her son. Each day was a lesson in letting Him go, giving Him back to God, until the river of God’s purposes carried her Son to a rugged cross, for a plan not her own. Her plan would be to keep Him always by her side. But she lay Him down at Calvary.
She loved so selflessly, and sin was broken, death defeated — people from every nation, tongue and culture were set apart as God’s special treasure.
She surrendered what was most dear to her and exchanged her plan for God’s ways.
What do we need to give back to God?
I think of a baby in a basket and a baby in a manger. I think of their destinies and the men they became. I think of their mothers who weren’t afraid to let go and let God take control, even when it was hard.
I conclude that purpose always involves sacrifice.
I hold all that is dear to me close to my heart, then I place it in a basket and surrender to the river of purpose. The waters of the Spirit flow and ripple and carry my dream down holy currents to a plan not my own.
As we stand on the threshold of the year ahead, what do we need to let go of? What dream, what hope, what love do we need to give back to God? For nothing we have is ours to keep — it all belongs to Him. Dreams need to be laid down before they can be lifted up.
By letting go we will see God’s plans are not only bigger, but better than anything we can imagine.
Amy is a Press Services International Columnist from Adelaide. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Screen & Media, and now works as a freelance photographer, videographer and writer. She was runner-up in the 2018 Basil Sellars Award. Her previous articles can be viewed here: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/amy-manners.html