Don't Let Go!


Letting Go Can Help You Feel Safe

by Eric Elkin

Your faithful love lasts forever, Lord! Don’t let go of what your hands have made.
— Psalm 138:8

I’m afraid of heights. The fear was formed before my birth. While I was still in my mother’s womb, she tripped on some stairs. It was late in her pregnancy and the trip caused fear and a tense reaction.


After I was born, the first time she moved to walk down some stairs, instinctually, I clutched her arms. In telling me the story, she wondered if the experience of her trip caused my reaction. I don’t know, but I do know my own sense of insecurity intensifies my level of fear.


The older I got the more I tried to confront my fear of heights. At a national church youth gathering, I attempted to climb a high ropes element with a friend. The element was called, Jacob’s Ladder. Two wire cables hung from the ceiling of a large event center. The rungs were rounded 4” x 4” boards. Each rung was farther and farther apart as climbers ascended the ladder.   

The higher I climbed, the tighter I grabbed the rungs. My hands formed a death grip on the wood. Eventually, the constant tension in my arms started to exhaust my strength. I could feel myself losing grip. 25 feet up in the air, I stared down at the ground below knowing I was about to fall. There was nothing I could do stop it.

The psalmist’s experience of God’s help has reminded her that she is not the captain of her own soul, that he is not the master of his own fate — and that this is a good thing!
— Rolf Jacobsen

My grip gave way, and I fell to the ground. However, the fall was no fall at all. I was on belay. In less than two feet, the ropes connected to my harness kicked in. My ability to hold on was not going to save me. Being held and suspended in air by the safety equipment was the source of my security.


Reason would seem to suggest a person afraid of heights should take it slow. Take time to adjust to each new height before moving on to the next level. The truth is, failing that climb taught me to trust in something other than myself. A trust built by letting go and falling. 


How would you live differently, if you knew when you failed someone would be there to catch you? Not just on a ropes course, but in life.


The psalmist understands this and seeks to pass the reality of the experience on to others. In the pit of despair, the psalmist cried out and was heard. For many people, this may seem like ancient folklore. However, for those whose life has been crushed and discovered hope, it is a living reality. 


Truth is, few people come to believe because of a beautiful hymn. More often than not, it comes from understanding, by experience, the Lord never lets go of what the Lord has made. I hope you can find a way to live fully in this truth.

Click to read: Psalm 138

Reflection Questions:

  • When was a time you confronted a fear? 
  • How did it turn out?
  • How would you live differently if you knew someone would always be there to catch you?
  • When have you cried out and Lord heard you?

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