Surrender With Hope

Surrender is sort of a dirty word in our day. Maybe it has always carried the stigma of being a failure, a loser. Today, however, I propose that surrender is far from bad, or a sign of losing. Surrender is actually to our benefit when we stop trying to be in control of things that are out of our control, things that were never intended to be in our control.

This tree has surrendered to the wild rages of Lake Superior, yet it thrives.

One consideration is who or what are we surrendering to? Giving in to a maniacal dictator is threatening for our life on all levels, but to a benevolent leader, that is a different story. What we seldom understand when we try to take control or protect ourselves, is we are taking the place of our Creator in our lives. The one who made us tells us his plans for us are good, abundant, loving and full of hope. Surrendering to one with those characteristics almost feels good.

Rather than feed you all those scriptures, I invite you to sit with Psalm 103 for a few minutes. As tempted as I am to emphasize verses or ideas I will resist this time. I will, however, feed you a question or two to prime your thinking_

  • If I am going to surrender to anyone, why should I trust the God of the Bible?
  • What is unique about how the God of the Bible sees us? (Opposed to people or sometimes ourselves.)
  • What characteristics of this God are most inviting to you today?

Please take a breath and try to take your time. Please journal what you learn if you can. Come back later if you need to. I would enjoy hearing from you and what touches you.

Abba,  Give us grace to receive what you want to say to us. Thank you that you are both willing and able to speak each of us as unique individuals. We surrender to you long enough to sit with this psalm for a while. 

Psalm 103 

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Andrea Van Boven (Madden): I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of "normal" that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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