Last night at our Bible study we discussed the word “let”, and in what several contexts it appears in the Bible. The verse that stood out the most to me was Matthew 26:39. “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (KJV).
In the garden the night before His crucifixion Jesus faced what He had come into the world to do....to carry the weight of our sin to the cross so that we might be freed from its destruction. He, who had no sin, was called to become sin so that we might know the greatest forgiveness and grace ever promised. There Jesus was in such agony of what was to come that he sweated blood. Even though he cried out and asked God to release Him from the burden of our sin, and the pain of separation at the cross, He surrendered to the pain that was ahead for Him. He let go of His own desire for that of His father. He said yes, and took our sin to the cross. And there is was forever crucified and buried so that we might be raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). He let go of everything for us.
Our Bible study and Matthew 26:39 came together this morning as I thought of my mother, and one year ago today. On Monday, January 28, 2013, my mother let go of her struggle to make it through each day. Mama retired to her bed, and never got out of it again. She died on February 3rd a few days later. Mama had a strong faith in God, and knew it was time to let go. She had tried so hard all of her life to reach her family and hold us strongly together. She had given all she had for each one of us. She had faithfully prayed for years for each one of us. As my sister declared at Mama's service “mama loved fiercely.” She loved with all she had to give.
Jesus loved us with all He had to give. There is no greater love that when a man lays down his life for another. Mama's life was changed by Christ, and her love was deep and it was fierce. It was a result of what Jesus had accomplished in her life. I have known His love through her. And I know it within me because of her influence in my life.
Daddy let me have a discipleship study book from years ago and there in her own writing this morning, I discovered something I have never known before.....her precious words written for only me....her only words about what she witnessed in my life. It is a gift I never expected. Mama let go, and I have discovered a part of her heart where I never knew I brought her joy. Jesus let go for me and He let go for you. We can all discover a part of His heart and understand His love that brings great joy.
Perhaps this devotional is a little disjointed this morning. But I know that Mama let go in order to be with the Savior who let go for her. It is just a matter of letting go and letting Him. It is just a matter of heart, mercy, grace, and the greatest love ever known.