Surrender, Part II
Our ability to surrender to what God has put in our lives comes from our trust in God and in His ways, in His love for and forgiveness of all that we are. How much we trust God, in His answers to our prayers, in how He is guiding our lives, in what He allows us to experience, in all that happens to us in this life, determines how willingly we surrender to His will for us. We are surrendering our will and our preferences to God, to His will and His choices for us.
I think that we are brought up to believe that if we do everything right by our culture’s standards, then life should go smoothly for us. We make the right choices for us and that gains us everything we want. So, when things do not go as planned, we are upset, victimized, traumatized. ”It wasn’t supposed to be this way,” we complain. But, if we look at life as it happens in everyone’s lives, there are always challenges and pain, loss and suffering along with all the good things that come to us. The difference for us Christians is that God walks with us through our pain and suffering; we are never alone with it. He is showing us how to deal with loss and suffering. As Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they will be comforted.” Beyond what Jesus said, I think, is the promise that mourning for our losses is a good thing. It helps us resolve what has happened to us, so that we do not cling to the past; in our mourning we are coming to terms with what is in our lives. And, then, we can live in the present with all its blessings and challenges.
His presence, His gifts of how to handle the tough things that come to us, help us through the rough patches of our lives. If we trust God, we also trust that what is in our lives is designed to bring us closer to Him, to heal our wounds, to give us a new lease on life. And we can relax. We can live with what is. We can trust in the providence of God and in His love and forgiveness for us. We can be free of the burdens of the past. We can live in the present, in the presence of God. We are, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I am free at last!” And what are we free of? The “shoulds” we were taught, the world’s ways, the things that we are not called to do, and more.
As we come to trust God more and more, surrender becomes a natural part of our lives. We no longer object to what is in our lives, we adapt to it. Gone is the resistance, the loss of “my way!” With His help, we find, we can do anything. And as we have practiced surrender in the smaller stuff of life, when the big tsunamis come along, we find we are ready for those, too. And, in the end, we learn that whatever is in our lives, be it positive or negative by our lights, has been given to us to learn the lesson it brings, if we are willing to listen to what God is saying to us in this new arrival. For that is the purpose of both the blessings and the challenges: to learn the lesson this one brings and to get ready for the next one that comes along. Life is a school for us with a myriad of lessons to be learned, to be growing throughout all our years into what God created each of us to be. And so, we can fulfill the purpose that he designed us for. All we have to do is to follow Him.
And as we follow Him, and surrender to His desires for us, we begin to really experience gratitude to God for everything in our lives, positive and negative, for the lessons and blessings they have brought and the growth in our ability to love. Gratitude is the one thing that indicates how close we are to God and all that He does for us.
- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I willing to give up all my wishes and desires, all my agendas to God? If I’m not there yet, What would it take for me to surrender my will to God’s will? And, am I willing to do that?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who are surrendered to His will for us. May we willing go wherever He leads us. May we walk in gratitude for all that He does for us.
See more blog posts and offerings at patsaidadams.com.
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