Find Strength in Surrender
Find Strength in Surrender
Sometimes, just like in the movies, you want to call a “cease fire.” You need the hostilities directed your way to stop. You haven’t seen a promotion, bonus or pay raise in a while. You’re spending less time at home; relationships are beginning to crumble. The kids are entering their teens, and they seem to be rebelling more. You’ve missed Bible study, choir rehearsal, and even skipped services to pick up odd jobs. You’re putting in more hours, maybe you’ve taken on a second job, but not seeing any progress. There are more demands than you can handle. You’re at your wits end, overwhelmed, and feel alone. You’re not, you’re in pretty good company. Abraham Lincoln said:
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
When we find ourselves in a hole, the shovel is usually in our hands. We know that experiences are shaped by our behaviors, and our behaviors have consequences. When we don’t handle our finances, we fall into debt. When we don’t tend to our relationships, they fall apart. When we don’t establish boundaries, especially at work, we take on too much. The reason we find ourselves here is simple; we thought we could do it all and are locking God out. American author and Christian Pastor, A.W. Tozer explains:
“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders and interfering with God's work within us.”
We may have been well-intentioned, but now we find ourselves in trouble. We’ve been conditioned to “fight” even against our best interest. Like Lincoln, we should fall to our knees; but, we usually don’t. You’ve heard the battle cries, chants and phrases of encouragement like “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”, “hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer” and “once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” It’s inevitable, we all have problems and we will all reach a point of surrender. Yet, in these times we are likely to turn to God. We turn to Him because we don’t know what to do or just can’t go on.
We could fall to our knees but praying alone won’t work, we must surrender. God is not like Aladdin’s genie. He doesn’t grant our wishes because He is not subservient to our will. God doesn’t grant you what you wish for; He gives you what you need. He teaches, molds, and works with us to overcome our problems. He is there every step of the way, even when we don’t see Him, not because we rubbed a lamp but because He loves us. Surrender isn’t in our nature; but God won’t act until we do. His Word calls us to fall into His arms so that we can find rest.
“Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. Follow My teachings and learn from Me. I am gentle and do not have pride. You will have rest for your souls. For My way of carrying a load is easy and My load is not heavy.” Matthew 11:28-30, NLV
Surrender is the first step in God’s intervention plan. It is the key to “victory.” Not sure, look no further than Jesus (Luke 22:42) who through surrender, defeated death and delivered salvation. Surrender isn’t easy, it requires courage. But through it, we find God and peace. It is this peace that assures you that He is with you. As Priscilla Shirer (2017) explains:
“Peace is not only an element of His character; it’s evidence of His presence.”
When you’re standing at the banks of the river of despair, remind yourself that surrender doesn’t lead to defeat; it leads to victory. Surrender leads to God. In God, you’ll find strength and peace. What else do you need?
Challenge: It doesn’t matter what your station in life is. You can lead an organization, church, family, or community, it doesn’t matter. One day you’ll stand at the banks of the river of despair. You’ll feel lost and alone. You can try but you can’t do it by yourself. You won’t know what to do, so in desperation you’ll cry for help and surrender.
“Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.” (Psalm 34-17-18, MSG)
He is ready and waiting for you to surrender. You don’t have anything to lose, but everything to gain. Won’t you surrender to Him?
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