Surrender to Live?

I can say I want God’s way in my life and try to leave it at that, but I will soon find that I am dissatisfied, feeling the incompleteness that comes with living life apart from our One central point — the One who holds together all of what we know and see and yet wonder about.

Or, I can realize that there can be no other way with me; it must be His way, or I have chosen to live with less than all I could have in this life. I think that I can have it all if I just live for myself, but this only seems like it is a legitimate hope because I am securely at the head. I think that I will lose out if I step aside so God can take that place that I so fiercely covet.

Yet, will I truly lose out? Can living for more than I can hold onto and keep in-check really prove to be a misuse of my passion and potential? Is it worth it to gain if I have not lost? If I am not willing to lose something I value for the sake of something more valuable — can I really expect to be able to hold onto anything at all?

If I’m already surrendering, I don’t have to fear any loss or disappointment or chaos, because I am not ultimately trusting my circumstances to deliver what I need, but my God. He alone knows what I truly need; He knows what is necessary in mistakes and trials to release me from the power of secret sins, teaching me to realize that life is in Him and not in me or what I see.

If I will live in surrender, I will live in hope. And, if my hope (Christ) is able to hold me, than I cannot fear any significant loss. I cannot rationalize unbelief because I am setting myself up to succeed according to my own resources. Considering all these petty “resources” I have now will ALL ultimately fail me, I must ask myself, “What grounds do I have for trying to convince God that I am right in my ongoing resistance to offer myself wholly to Him?”

I don’t. I would be a fool to believe my own ideas about what is best for me apart from what God has said since the beginning of time — long before I was born, or had any ideas about what I would like to have in this life. God knew what I needed, and was eager to reveal it to me. I have been the stubborn one.

I have been the one who is constantly insisting that I know what is up and what will do great things for me; and all my life I have been convinced that that is not God or anything that comes with Him. One, I cannot control Him. Two, I do not know what to expect with Him. Three, I would rather just be able to do everything on my own.

But, do I think He will not ever-so-patiently whittle down all that opposition in me? Do I think that I have to lead this? Do I think that He will not accept exactly what little I have to offer now, and with that make a way for me to give Him all the rest?

Yes, I often do think all these things, but even this He can deal with. He knows what He’s doing — including where sin begins and the only One who can bring it to an end — because He holds the keys to all the freedom that His perfect righteousness has to offer. I will trust Him.

The Mistake I Pretended to Make

I’ve always liked to pretend. As a little girl I always had my doll with me and all the makings for a fantastic afternoon of playing “house”. But, this isn’t a form of recreation that I have entirely left in childhood. I still appreciate the benefits of consciously removing myself from the present realities of the world around me to make up my own.

I want more out of my life, so I fill in the gaps that I believe don’t truly belong. I trust myself to make a better story of my life than God. I don’t want to leave all the broken pieces in His hand, I would rather just pretend they don’t exist or fill them in myself. Pretending is easier than waiting.

Waiting to see what God will do. Waiting for changes I want to see, only to find progress in other areas — areas I hadn’t really identified as number-one. Waiting to see what God wants, trusting that all the conflicts that arise in my heart from this will be His way of leading me to unconditional surrender of my will.

Choosing to accept what I truly am according to the measure of my sin, so I can treasure grace every day — not just when it seems to belong in my life because everything is right. Choosing to pursue what is genuine, what makes more room for God, what makes me rely on His mercies for all I know of abundant life.

To reject every temptation to put on a face that will leave unpleasant elements of my life covered-up and out-of-the-way. To forsake every false ambition that my pride declares is the only way to enjoy life. To let God teach me to embrace Him out of the most utter brokenness and empty humility that I can handle in today’s every-day moments.

Forgive Me As I Judge

I am angry today. I have to sort through things that I don’t want to, like: awful preconceptions, bitter emotions, envy, faulty judgments, and negative attitudes. So much in me that keeps me from fully loving others and standing in awe of my Lord. So much in me that thinks I’m better-off if I can continue to rationalize my distance from other people because they constantly fail to live up to my standards. So much in me that thinks I always have the best way. So much in me that wonders what everyone elses’ problem is. So much in me that thinks, I, as imperfect as I am, am the closest thing to perfection the world is going to meet. So much in me that just does not even want to receive the Truth for who He is, so much better than I.

I want to think that I am perfect, or shall soon be wholly there, because this is the only way I know to feel good about my world, myself.

I do not “get” that things begin with Christ and the gift He came to give us, and we can never be confident that we have seen the end of something unless Christ has revealed it to us in Himself.

And since I need not try to be the beginning or the end of anything — gratefully leaving all that to Him to expose who He truly is — I can be content with finding myself somewhere in the middle. I can also bless the Lord for the many different individuals He has put around me fill up this middle place. I will rejoice and be glad for how God is constantly working to humble each one of us through our interactions with other sinners saved by His ever-abounding grace.