One of my favorite t.v. shows was The West Wing, and in one scene, the staff is trying to map out a plan to enable the lead character, President Josiah Bartlet, to re-gain popular favor after an insider’s memo regarding his ineffectiveness is leaked. The advisers bicker back and forth, talking about how to please the various constituencies, and it seems to involve capitulating to public opinion on matters of policy and even conscience. Finally, the senior adviser writes his suggestion on a coaster and it becomes clear what must be done:

Let Bartlet be Bartlet.

My personal mantra is simple.  Plan A:  Trust God.  There’s no Plan B.

Another of my favorite phrases is “let go and let God.” Another way to say it is “divest and deify.”

You might say deify?  God doesn’t need me to tell Him He’s God!

But, judging by the way I hold onto my troubles even after I’ve prayed about them, it might seem like I’m forgetting who’s actually in charge here.  I have to remember to let God be God.

After I prayed this morning, I said, “Well, it’s in God’s hands.”  Of course, I know everything is anyway, but this time I acknowledged it and left it there.

So often as I say my morning prayers, I’ll say in my mind, “This is too big for me to bear, so I’ve entrusted it to God.” The problem is that even though I know it’s now officially in God’s hands, I still agonize about it, strategize in case God doesn’t address it, and rationalize that I have to work hard to fix it just in case a solution doesn’t show up right away.

So often I invest in the pain of a thing I can’t figure out or solve. I assume that I have something to learn from those dark nights of the soul, and it’s almost as if I set down roots in that hardship. I figure that this is some kind of life lesson that only comes through suffering. The thing is that it may well be that it’s temporary, if only I’d let go of it. Most of the time, I plow my energies into formulating a Plan B before I even let Plan A (trusting God) take  effect.

When trouble comes, you can’t fix it or force it. You can’t fudge it or fake it. It has to be sincere and specific when you lift up your troubles in prayer.  Do what you can do and – here’s the tricky part – really, resolutely, leave the rest up to God.

When something is too hard to deal with, think of it this way:  it’s just another juncture of trust.  A great opportunity to let God lead and know in your bones that there is an answer, even if you can’t see it right now. Even though you may well have something to learn from pain and lack, it’s also possible to learn from relief and abundance. Maybe if we get out of the habit of expecting so little from God, it opens an unanticipated avenue of blessing. You might be amazed at the good things that come your way when you divest and deify.