Letting Go After Trauma

Michael Beck

“… His life is bound up in the lad’s life” (Gen. 44:30)

Where our treasure is there our heart is also. There are tests which touch our treasure. After his precious son Joseph was seemingly killed by wild beasts, Jacob clung all the more to his youngest son, Benjamin. Now, he was being told that the welfare of all depended on allowing Benjamin to leave his side and go into Egypt. What might happen to his treasured son if he let him go? The voice of trauma spoke: “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.” (Genesis 42:38) The sorrow of losing Benjamin after losing Joseph was too much for Jacob to bear. Surely, another tragedy would be the death of him.

How much sorrow can the human heart take? To protect ourselves from pain we can detach ourselves from others. We can choose not to feel, not to love, not to care. But such is a small life. Or, we can be like Jacob and hold on to what we love in an anxious, overprotective way. Eventually, if we are to live beyond the torment of fear, we must let go and commit to God our treasure. We must be willing to live in a world beyond our control, but not beyond His. We must say as Jacob finally did: “And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” (Gen. 43:14)

The world we live in is filled with “ifs.” But we cannot live in the fear of what might happen. We cannot shelter ourselves or others from the prospect of pain. We must boldly face each day knowing that God’s eye is upon the sparrow, and because He lives, we can face tomorrow.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.