The word “surrender” always carried a negative connotation in my mind. To yield to the possession or power of another. Yeah, that didn’t mesh with my personality so well. Stubborn, hard-headed, and determined to a fault, I’ve always preferred to call the shots in my life. I trusted God. I’ve always had faith that He was guiding me; even if I didn’t know where. But I had never just totally surrendered. Even though all evidence in the world pointed to the fact that God was in control and not me, I still tried to use my knowledge, my abilities, my strength, and my skills to get through each day. Tried is the key word…
Earlier this year God led me to a new career. Completely and totally outside of my comfort zone, I was exhilarated and scared to death all at the same time. The transition was so hard that during most of the first month of my new job, I cried almost daily. I had been certain that God led me to this new opportunity but as typical of my life up until that point, I figured that God got me there and now it was MY responsibility to make it work. I had never involved God in my career before (which is probably why it was always so miserable); why would I bother Him with such a thing now?
I broke down in the shower one night just sobbing. I was working my butt off, making no money, scared to death that I had made the wrong decision, had no plan B (intentionally), and was just emotionally a wreck. Desperate for help, and for probably the first time in my life, I told God that I COULD NOT do this without Him. I told Him I needed His help and I started to specifically spell out in detail what I needed His help with – minute, insignificant details as compared to Almighty God. I have never done that before. I had always dealt with such struggles on my own. God was too busy, in my mind, to hear about my work problems or worry about such trivial things. But on this particular night, after 28 years of being saved and being a Christian, I finally completely and totally surrendered. I gave possession of and power over my work, my life, my money, and anything and everything in between to God.
You know why God led me to this new career? Well, there are a few reasons; but particular to this post, it was so that I would learn to rely on Him; so that I would surrender. Because I’m telling you, I CAN NOT do this without Him. I don’t know why I ever thought I could. I suppose it sounds kind of cruel that God would force me to such a low. How dare He! Except that the low (if that’s what you want to call it) was actually a blessing in disguise.
Very out of character from my previous self, I wake up every morning praising and thanking God and telling Him that I can’t do it without Him today. Although I am actually in the shower when I do it, I start every day figuratively on my knees. I have also started praying very specifically; which I never did before. And let me just tell you, GOD HAS SHOWN UP!
While it’s too much detail for a blog (maybe best for a future book!), God has made some of the very specific things I asked for happen within a matter of hours of my prayers. It’s incredible. And to top it all off like no one but God could, when I finally got my first paycheck, the money that was deposited in my account was for the SAME amount of money I had depleted while trusting God and making this change! God shows out when you surrender to Him! And when He does, it’s awe-inspiring; it’s undeniable. It’s God. He not only provides; He blesses us in ways that allow us to bless others. (Which is another reason He gave me this new opportunity.)
I’m not very likely to surrender much control to one of you – I’m still pretty stubborn and you’re mere humans like me. But God – God is worthy. God will never let us down; He always has our back. His ways are always better than our ways; He knows infinitely more than we know. His plans are perfect. In Him we find the life that leads to light. In Him we find our strength, our peace, our courage, our shelter. As difficult and painful as surrender may sound, letting go and giving control to God will actually be the easiest thing you ever do. Because you won’t have to worry anymore. You won’t have to be afraid anymore. You won’t have to call the shots anymore. Rest in Him and He’ll give you peace. Rest in Him and He’ll guide you. Rest in Him and surrender.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. (2 Samuel 22:31)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)