Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Beauty of Surrender

We know that God doesn't always answer prayer in the way we would anticipate, or as "quickly" as we would wish. But I can now see that for many of these times, He has given me an answer far better than I knew to ask for, in just the right timing.

As I reread my journals from a few years back, I gained a different perspective on how God was shaping me. He was orchestrating the details that needed to be put into place, while at the same time, preparing my heart to want the greater things He had in mind for me.

Upon reviewing these journals, I made a wonderful observation. Whenever something really "big" happened in my life -- an answer to a long-time prayer -- it came directly after a period when I was able to fully "surrender." By this I mean that I had given up control of the way I wanted the situation to go, realizing that He knows best. I could finally be open to His solution (the one that was perfect in the first place!)

But God is a gentleman and He didn't hurry, pressure or force me. I saw that many times He was incredibly patient with me. When I eventually stopped pleading with God about what needed to be done (how silly that sounds!) and resolved that I could trust Him -- whatever the outcome -- then the answer finally arrived. An answer that surpassed human understanding. An answer that gave me the greatest peace ever. An answer that came in a great big God way.

I now reflect on the character of God and His promises in the Bible:
  • Great is His faithfulness (Lam. 3:23)...
  • He can work all things together for good (Romans 8:28)...
  • Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:39)...
  • He wouldn't give a snake when we ask for a fish (Matt 7:10)...
  • All things are possible with God (Mark 10:27)...
I remember that He really has my best interests at heart.

The beautiful 1855 hymn reminds us what a Friend we have: "Oh, what peace we often forfeit; oh, what needless pain we bear; all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

Do you have a heavy burden you're carrying? Are you ready to lay it down?

Father, help me get my head, my heart and my feet on the "same page." Help me, more and more, to surrender to You. I really do want Your way. I know that from the fullness of Your grace we have all received one blessing after another (John 1:16). We have every reason to trust You.

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