–verb (used with object) to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.)
I can’t sleep tonight. Because my mind is racing with random words pounding my thoughts like a racehorse’s hooves pound into the dirt track. One of the words is (yep, you guessed it), ‘surrender’. Surrender is a word we often like to avoid. Surrender is scary, misunderstood, and humbling. It is unpopular and uncomfortable. Rarely are there warm and fuzzy feelings associated with a word that so closely resembles losing.
Why is this? Why is giving up of ourselves to the One who created us scary? Why is it risky to place our lives at the feet of the One who has written out all the days of our lives? Do we actually think we can live life on our own? Is losing always a bad thing, or is that something we’ve grown to learn?
Another word coming to my mind over and over again is ‘illusion’. I think we have illusions. Illusions of how the world is supposed to work and how God is supposed to work. And we have this illusion of control. Like our lives are best in our own hands. When things don’t go the way they’re “supposed to go”, we tend to grab all the more tightly to other things around us, whether those things are people or jobs or planners.
But what does surrender actually look like? Would it make all the hard times easy to get through? Or would it make easy times suddenly uncertain and uncomfortable? What would it look like if I relinquished my need to be in control? What if I abandoned the dreams for my own life I’ve held on to for so many years? What if I actually believed my life was better in God’s hands? What if I understood that all of God’s ways are true and sure?
I am convinced that my life is better off not in my hands. I believe there is beauty in surrender. And obedience follows surrender. This surrendering thing isn’t easy. And it’s not just in the big things…but the little things that often need to be relinquished. Surrender doesn’t come naturally. And I don’t think there’s a step by step “how-to” in some manual. But I do think surrender is closely related to the following: getting to know God more, humbling yourself, obediently following when called.
I don’t have this surrender thing figured out, but I’m learning. I am learning to lay down my own agenda, abandoning the way I think my life should go. And I’m trying to keep still, listening and looking for opportunities. My prayer is that when these opportunities arise, you will surrender your dreams, agenda, & plans and respond obediently. As scary as it may be, rest assured that God knows you better than you know yourself. He is faithful to keep His promises and will go before you. His ways are sure. He will not fail you.
May this song bless you and challenge you to keep following our Maker ever so closely.
“I Will Follow”