Walter Cizsek, a Christian in the former Soviet Union, was imprisoned and tortured for his faith in Christ. He was forced to make a soul-rending choice: cooperation or execution. Cooperate with liars and murderers? Never! But an agonizing death? How could he endure that?

On the verge of losing his faith in God, Walter began to pray desperately. Eventually he was able to abandon himself completely to the will of the Father. He writes that God’s will was not “out there” but “in the situations in which I found myself. What He wanted was for me to accept these situations from His hands, to let go of the reins and place myself entirely at His disposal.” Empowered by grace, Walter was able to do just that.

Have you ever felt abandoned by God? Have you ever felt like the psalmist who cried out in despair, “Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” (Ps. 77:9). The psalmist’s distress was alleviated when he remembered and meditated on the wonderful works of the Lord and realized that He is totally in control (vv.10-20).

As we “let go of the reins” and place ourselves entirely at God’s disposal, our feelings of abandonment by Him will fade away.