My life has been filled with asking God’s forgiveness and <trying to> force His permission. Two years ago, that approach to Christianity was ripped to shreds when the kingdom I had built for myself was demolished. Christianity became about Christ being alive in me; not me being alive with Christ showing up on occasion. Learning to surrender on a daily, hourly and minutely basis has been an unfathomable adventure.
Recently in a reference letter, I was described as a prodigal. I chuckled and wiped away tears as the remainder of the letter explained why my story blessed fellow Christians rather than scarred them.
For some reason, I never expected God’s redemption to go as deeply as it does. It’s a beautiful thing when I look at my best friend and I know he only sees scars, not seeping wounds.
It can be a terrifying mental trip trying to protect that redemption. I often forget that though my life in Christ is my responsibility, I myself am (hallelujah) Christ’s charge. What I can’t handle, He can. What I don’t understand, He does.
A couple days ago, as I sat haggling over whether I was pleasing God “enough,” I broke down crying. The what ifs are intimidating. As a redeemed and treasured prodigal concerned I’m not hearing God correctly for my future, it’s ulcer-forming. That particular day, I wasn’t getting the “go-ahead” I thought God and I had set up to guarantee I was doing things correctly.
Fine, Jesus. I really don’t know what to do anymore. I’m done. You get the pieces of this mess. Do your thing. Get me out of the way. I…I surrender. Help me. Help me surrender.
Believe me when I tell you I expected silence after that prayer. I expected the arbitrary reminder that God’s peace and grace were enough… As if that would silence the questions in my mind.
Instead of holy silence, as I muttered “I surrender” God gave me the answer I needed along with total peace.
It was as if I heard God whisper, “I just wanted you to give up control. I just wanted you to trust that I know your heart’s desire. I wanted you to surrender control, but even more than that, I needed you to surrender the idea that you have Me figured out. I love you, sweet Child. You are no longer a Prodigal, you’re a Child I treasure. You didn’t hear from Me for so long because you weren’t looking for Me, you were looking for your comfortzone.”
We talk so often of surrendering plans and “control” to God. What about surrendering the expectations of what God will do after we surrender?