“A barnacle is a type of arthropod constituting the infraclass Cirripedia in the subphylum Crustacea.”
Well, that's probably more than you need or want to know. In plain language, barnacles are small marine crustaceans, saltwater animals with a protective, external shell-like covering.
They are “attachers.” They join themselves permanently to ships, wharves, and rocks, and to other marine animals. Clinging to the hull of a ship they can reduce the vessel's speed. The ship must then be put in dry dock to have the bottom scraped. To prevent barnacles from clinging to ships, the hulls are either treated with toxic paint or coated with plastic.
Many of us are like some ships at sea which are loaded down with barnacles clinging to them. We are weighted down, slowed down from pressing on to the best plan God has for our lives. We should confess unwanted attachments and negative feelings, accept God's forgiveness, and then release them, let them go!
Sometimes we are hindered by barnacle-like negative thoughts or feelings of unforgiveness toward others. We unnecessarily cling to offenses against us, real or imagined. They continue to multiply exponentially. We remember hurts and keep the wounds open by reviewing them in our minds. We may cling to anger long after the situation is resolved which was the cause of it. We should let it go!
We can't seem to forget events of the past when we were slighted, disappointed, occasions when we were sinned against or taken advantage of. They are barnacles. We should let them go!
Sometimes we ourselves are the barnacles clinging to relationships that are over, trying to resurrect friendships that should be relegated to the past. There may be people we should allow to leave our circle of friendship if they have so chosen or whom God wants out of our lives. We may be clinging to a wrong relationship or addiction. There are many so-called “legitimate” addictions that we happily cling to. Perhaps we are holding on to something or someone that God doesn't intend to belong to us and was never intended for our life. We should let it go!
We might be holding on to some thoughts of evil or revenge, planning to get even with someone for what her or she did to us. We must let it go!
If I am stuck in the past and God is trying to take me to a new level in Him, I should turn my back on the past, let it go, and let God do His new work in us! If I keep trying to help someone who doesn’t accept or want my help, I should back off and let it go! If there is a particular situation that I am used to handling myself and God is saying 'take your hands off of it,' then I need to let it go!
Each of us has his unique list of barnacles that need to be scraped off.
Of course, letting go is not easy. Having negative barnacles scraped off of us is sure to be painful. But it is not too hard for me. Jesus Christ is my strength. I will be blessed. I will be lightened to “press on to the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus...” (Philippians 3: 13, 14.)
The Lord will bless me with a fresh start in a new direction if I allow the barnacles to be scraped off of my life. Those of us who are older in calendar years have a greater accumulation of barnacles from which we need to be detached. But no matter what my age or how complicated my circumstances, God is sufficient to turn them around if I am willing to let it go, detach myself from the “clingers,” forget the past, and take action to surrender myself totally into His hands.