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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Letting go to gain and grow

Letting go to gain and grow

Pastor Kristi Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319


As I drive down the road, God draws my attention to the trees on the hillside. The beauty of all the fall colors takes my breath away. I watch as the wind blows strong but with a gentle strength as the leaves are pulled away from the branches and go flying around in circles following the breeze. The trees seem to try to hang on to the leaves for as long as they can, almost as a tug of war, ultimately letting go. The leaves chase after the wind for a while then eventually they fall to the ground in piles of multiple colors until they die and turn brown. 

We can depend on this process taking place every year like clockwork. Every year, the trees lose everything as the seasons change again and again throughout their lifetime. Their branches are left bare and cold for the winter. The greatest part of this little observation is that every spring, God restores everything those trees lost and then some. Each year the tree grows taller and bears more branches that produce even more leaves than the year before!

Maybe we shouldn’t be so afraid of letting go of things or people or jobs or lifestyles that have outlived their season in our life. Often God will ask us to let go of one season in order to bless us with our next season. His Promise is to restore that which was lost and redeem even years we may have lost. If we hold onto our hurts, we can’t receive our healing. If we hold tightly to our possessions, our fist is clenched and can’t receive the new and better blessings God wants to give us. If we hold onto our unforgiveness of others, we can’t receive forgiveness from God for our deeds. If you hold tightly to the wrong person you will not be available when God sends the right person your way. God’s plan for us far exceeds our own plans for ourselves. When we follow God wholeheartedly, as Psalm 1:3 says, we are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither (NIV).

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.  

A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time (Eccl. 3:1-8, 11)

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