I was in a conversation recently about dealing with hard things. One of the participants commented that, for him, it was hard to see/feel the difference between giving up on a hurtful circumstance or giving it over to God. This is what I came up with in response:
The little boy is sooo tired. His little legs have walked so far. And to make matters worse, his truck—his favorite truck—is broken! He can't push it or pull it, it won't go on its own, so he has to carry it. He's carried it all this way, and he's still not home. The truck is sooo heavy. At times, it seems bigger than he is, and he knows that it's the big reason why he's so tired.
Beside the little boy walks the Father. He sees his son is tired, he knows why, and he truly cares. Does he take the truck from the little boy? No. That is a choice the little boy must freely make.
Now the little boy has stopped. He sets the truck down in the dirt, sighs, wipes a tear, and begins to walk away. He can't carry it anymore. The Father waits and watches. The boy walks a few steps and stops, turning back. He can't give up on his precious truck! Torn, he looks back and forth, from his Father to the truck to his Father.
"Daddy, what do I do?" he wails. "My truck is broken and I'm so tired! I can't carry it!"
The Father reaches out his hand.
"Give it to me, son. Let me carry it."
The little boy stands, frozen, indecisive. What should he do? Give up on the truck and leave it in the dirt? Or give it over to his Father and let him carry it? Either way, the little boy won't have his truck anymore. Give it up, or give it over? He stands there, thinking. Which should he choose? Will it really make any difference....?