I Surrender

In Sabbath we find ourselves facing our need to surrender more fully to God and to reality. Here’s how I described the depth of this surrender  in my prayer journal during my own wonderful and yet painful Sabbath journey:Father I know you are asking me to give it all back to you. In my younger days “all” meant, “Of course I trust you God, but just make it so that I kinda’ end up with the life I always wanted,” or “Of course I give all of my life to you, but make me more like the people I admire than like Jesus,” or “Of course I trust everything to you, but I don’t need my future to be hard, sacrificial, awkward or filled with poverty and sorrow to become your best version of me.” Now at age 46 I know “all” means everything. My physical well-being – how long I will live, how healthy I will be, and how independent or needy I will be. My wife – how long our lives together will be or how she will treat me over the rest of my days. My kids – how long I will enjoy them, who they will become, or how much I will or won’t be a part of their lives. My family - how long they will be in my life, and the quality of our relationships. My friends – how many true friends I will have, how near, and if there will be any in the place where I live. My finances – how poor or wealthy I will be. My stuff - my house and my things that I surround myself with to be as comfortable as I can be. My vocation – what I do, how much it really accomplishes, how many resources I will have, how much influence I will have and how much recognition I will receive. To give back everything means I am unconditionally surrendering all control over what my life will look like, over what will be “good,” and over what the “good works God has prepared in advance for me to do” (Eph. 2:10) will even prove to be. It means entrusting to You all of what I have no control over anyway, resting in the fact that you have promised to pour out grace to me no matter what. As Jim Elliott wrote in his own journal just before he gave His life for the cause of the kingdom - “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”Is this the level of surrender your heart is ready to embrace?