Butterfly wall stickers

I have just been putting butterfly stickers on my daughter’s bedroom wall.  She has been in America with her Mum for almost 2 months, and I am feeling the ache of separation very strongly now.  I fly out in a week and can’t wait to be with them again.

Letting them go for this limited period was hard but also rewarding.  I appreciate them both more now.  I want to make every moment together count in future.

I’ve been writing a lot about ‘letting go’ on this blog.  Of course I would never really let go of my family, I always want to be there for them, provide for them, love them.  And yet to truly love them, I will have to let go, in many different ways –  more and more as my daughter gets older.

The business I have written lots about letting go of has flourished in it’s final 2 months, and I have had 2 other job offers as a result of laying it down.  So I am taking a break to be with my family and clear my head, knowing that when we return I can choose any one of 3 viable options.  I wrote something in a previous post, that my experience now shows to be true:

“Perhaps, when you have laid everything down, you will be able to pick it up again with a looser grip that sets it free in ways you can’t imagine.  Or perhaps your open hands will grasp new things that clenched fists couldn’t hold.”


My occasional mentor Terry Eckersley said to me recently it is ungodly to want to provide for my family.  This sounded like the destructive talk of religious extremism, attacking what I saw as one of my most good and godly desires.  But he meant I need to understand that God is ultimately our provider.

It offended me slightly because it shone a light on a longstanding dissonance in my thinking: If God is provider etc, then what exactly is my role in all this?  I know it is not just to sit around and wait for God to do everything (I’ve tried that and it is destructive and depressing).

But here’s the truth as I now see it:

I have worked hard on my business, and that’s a good thing, yet when I think of what I have achieved, none of it could have happened at all without God.  He led us to a house with an adjoining workshop that I wouldn’t have believed we could get a mortgage for.   There are countless ways He helped me acquire tools and machinery through gifts, great deals, and being in the right pace at the right time.  My laptop was a gift from a friend.  My parents funded most of it directly or indirectly.  And even the things that I could argue are down to me could not exist without His provision.  If I have abilities it is because He has blessed me with them.  If I have experience it’s because He has provided the opportunities.  Not to mention my wife’s support and book-keeping.  And my apprentice, always faithful and true.

If you don’t believe in God, you want be convinced by God’s hand in all of the above.  But I do believe in God, and I do see His hand in it all.

The way I view this walk with God at the moment is as a partnership: we are ‘co-workers with Christ‘. But it is an unequal partnership – him having the controlling stake.  And to grow in spiritual maturity requires me to keep saying to Him ‘You must become greater and I become less‘.  My dilemma about my role – between working or waiting for Him to work for me – is resolved in this way: I work, but for God’s approval not man’s.  And while working I keep dying to my flesh (ambition, pride, self sufficiency) until I have been ‘crucified with Christ’; and it is no longer I who works but Christ who works in me. (Galatians 2:20).   Then He is working both inside and out, and I am His servant – the most freeing role I can have, to serve goodness itself instead of serving my own deceptive ambitions and desires.

A blog post I have found helpful is this one from 3D Ministries: