Monday, September 25, 2017

The Anything

Submitted by Lara Cook
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:7-8
There is such sweet relief in embracing an I Surrender All mentality when we really turn things over to God.  The key is really turning things over to God, completely.  If we truly want to surrender all to God, that means we have to surrender our everything and take His anything. 
Sometimes we bring our everything to God with stipulations.  We tie our offerings up in a neat little package of hopes and dreams - and fears - and hand it over saying “Here you go, and this is exactly how I want it to be.  We want Him to wrap His holy bubble wrap around our people and plans so that no harm will come and our everything will go down exactly as we requested.  This is not true surrender. 
True surrender to God means that we are willing to go where He wants us to go, stay where He wants us to stay and accept what He wants us to accept.  That means when the diagnosis comes back different than we expected, we may not be ok with it, but we still trust.  When the job doesn’t pan out, when the money doesn’t come in, or when plans don’t go the way we think they should, we still trust.  Letting go in surrender is hard but sometimes accepting what comes back is even harder.  Sometimes it involves climbing mountains of adversity and forging rivers of sorrow.  But for every mountain we climb and every river we forge, God is with us every step of the way.
We may find ourselves saying to God “This is not what I meant” when we get unexpected results from our surrender.  It is like praying for patience and, of course, on that particular day there are endless circumstances that come our way to test our patience.  It feels like it is all happening on purpose, that God is hurling as many things at us as He can to test us.  In reality, we know that is not the truth.  When we surrender to God and in return we get mountains and rivers, it feels personal.  Sometimes the answer comes with pain and sadness, even in surrender to God.  It doesn’t make us exempt, but it does make us equipped.
Surrender is a war term which usually means giving up – maybe becoming a prisoner of war.  We can become a prisoner of war if we surrender to the hopelessness and sadness that can come with a hard answer from God.  This is not God’s desire for us in surrender.  Surrender means victory from hopelessness and sadness, and it also means freedom.  Not captivity.  We can escape captivity to the freedom of surrender through obedience, trust, and faith.  Whatever comes, whatever the anything is that we get back when we surrender it all to God, if we go forth in obedience, climb the mountains and forge the rivers, we can be victorious.

Scripture to Claim:
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

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