My word for the year was surrender.
And here I am December 31, 2017 and I am surrendering to the fact that I’m not any closer to knowing what I’m going to write than I was on Jan 1, 2017.
I know that true surrender requires me to relentlessly trust God. It was only through trusting God that I was able to surrender anything these last 12 months.
I used to have a negative connotation of the word surrender because I always thought of loss. Like at the end of a battle when the losing side surrenders to the winner or turning over a possession when you can no longer make the payments to the bank. Those are both situations where surrender is not necessarily voluntary but rather forced. This type of surrender leaves me feeling depressed and discouraged.
I’ve realized though that this is not the surrender that God desires from me. He is not forcing me to bring him my problems. I have the choice to keep them and I hate to admit that I do more often than I should. I’ve learned that surrender can be positive as long as I have the right perspective. For example when I surrender my financial information to a trusted accountant to file my taxes. The burden is then off of me and when I transfer the burden to someone I trust it is a relief.
So why is surrender so difficult? Because it requires me to actively trust God and that is so much harder than I would like to admit. Trusting God requires that I believe what the Bible says about God. That God has good plans for me even when it doesn’t look good. So next year my word is believe! I’m going to focus on believing what I know to be true and not on what I feel. I’ve learned that what I believe is more powerful than what I know and if I’m going to be able to surrender some of my burdens I have to believe!
I woke up this morning and my phone was telling me that it scanned the Bible and found no threats. I have to admit I smiled!
I found myself thinking about it quite a bit today; mostly because there was a point in my life where I couldn’t read my Bible without feeling defeated.
I knew about God’s grace but believed that because I was a christian I should be able to be “perfect” but perfection was elusive to my grasp. I found it slipping away no matter how hard I tried. I wanted nothing more than to please God, but every time I turned around it seemed as though I had failed. I even thought that maybe I wasn’t really a christian and perhaps I should try asking Jesus to be my savior again.
I told myself I was silly with those thoughts but the feelings of defeat and despair haunted me. Until I learned…….
That God’s grace goes forward just as much as it goes backwards.
No this is not a license to go do whatever I want and it doesn’t mean that I won’t reap what I sow. What it does do is remove the fear of failure! Rather than being concerned about doing the right thing in every situation I am free to be me and can accept my imperfections knowing that God is perfecting me over time not instantly…..
Now I read the Bible and rather than seeing a list of rules to live by I see advice that if I choose to follow will help me prosper. This doesn’t mean life will always work out when I do the right thing but my chance to succeed will be greater if I do it God’s way.
So my smile this morning was because I know the Bible holds hundreds of little secrets to help me live my life better. Secrets that God reveals to me exactly when I need to know them. Secrets that heal the broken parts of my life and bring life to the dead. Secrets that spare me pain and most of all bring me joy when nothing else can.
So the thought of the Bible threatening me was actually funny and I caught a glimpse of my own growth over the last five years.