“Surrender” is one of my least favorite words. But for the sake of full disclosure, let me follow that statement up by saying that the reason I dislike it so much is because it’s something I really struggle to do. Now, in some areas of life, having difficulty surrendering is a good thing. For example, if we’re trying be more healthy in our eating, it’s a good thing if we don’t surrender to our desire to eat a whole plate of chocolate chip cookies.
That’s just one example of when it can be good to not surrender. But there’s one area of life where we need to make sure we’ve got this whole “surrender thing” down - and that’s in our relationship with God. Jesus makes this clear in Matthew 16:25, when He says, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that: we need to surrender our lives to God. We need to give Him our complete obedience.
This is a subject that’s been on my mind the past few days because I’ve found myself in several situations where I can’t control what’s going on, or what the future will hold. The result is that I’ve stressed and worried and fussed over those things. So this morning I was praying about it - asking God to get His act in gear and take care of this stuff - and it was almost like I could hear God say, “I would, if you would just surrender it all to me and get out of the way.”
But I don’t think I’m alone in this struggle – “surrendering” is something we can all struggle with. And it makes sense, especially when we consider that the definition of “surrender” is: “To give up something to another person; to relinquish something given to you”. So “surrendering” can include our possessions, finances, time, relationships, goals, status, comfort - even our lives. No wonder we can struggle with it! But the fact that it’s difficult doesn’t give us a pass to hold on to what we think is ours to keep.
And the best news is, God is the perfect person to surrender our lives to, because He’s the only one who can handle it all. Isaiah 41:10 puts it beautifully, where God tells us, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God can and will take care of us.
So today, let’s commit to following Jesus’ command to surrender our lives to Him. Let’s consider the things we’re worried and anxious and stressed over - and surrender them to Him. Let’s look at the way we’re spending our time and money and resources - and surrender them to Him. Let’s look at our relationships and goals and dreams - and surrender them to Him. Let’s surrender all we are, and all we have to the One we can trust to handle it better than we ever could.