The last seven years of my life have been filled with some extremely challenging trials: a daughter’s cancer, losing my hair, the deaths of my dad and father-in-law, seemingly unsolvable health issues, and a grandson’s rebellion and decision to return to his birth family. I’m sure you could create your own list.
I WANT TO SURRENDER, BUT DO I KNOW HOW?
I guess it makes sense that after a very difficult fall season last year, I began this year feeling somewhat numb and flat, asking more questions than I normally would. One of my questions revolved around the many of the lyrics we sing, particularly “I surrender all.” Do I surrender all? Can I surrender all? Is that even possible? I might lift my hands and symbolically surrender because I want to surrender, but I don’t really know how to “surrender all.” Or do I?
The Bible study I was participating in while I wrestled with this question was titled Chase: Chasing after the Heart of God, (Jennie Allen, copyright 2012). It was a study of David’s life in the Psalms. Wouldn’t you know one of the lessons in the series was titled “Surrender” (isn’t that just like our God?)!
IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT I HAVE
I’ve often wondered - how do I surrender everything I have when I’m going to turn around and use it for my own purposes and plans? But it’s not about what I have, it’s about who I am. And it’s not about controlling my life, but receiving the life God gives.
If the soil of my heart is dried out, rock hard clay, I won’t be receiving anything. Besides, it’s going to hurt if you bump up against me during a trial. If the soil is filled with rocks, there won’t be much room for receiving and what does get in could feel like more burden.
I WILL STILL TRUST HIM
But if my heart has been cultivated and prepared, then I will still trust Him when the Lord allows the enemy to throw rocks (cancer, death, etc.). Instead of growing bitter roots, I’ll make a rock garden and remember His faithfulness to us through it all.
Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Cor. 1:11
THE REAL MEAT OF THE LESSON
The real meat of the lesson can be summed up by two quotes Jennie Allen states in Chase:
“Surrendering to God means we will willingly receive whatever He has for us.”
“Are we willing to surrender fully to a God who may let us suffer?”
Now when I sing the lyric “I surrender all,” it will have a deeper meaning for me because I have a deeper understanding of what I am committing to—not that I will always get it right, but I know where my heart is headed.
Are you willing to surrender fully to a God who may let you suffer?