Daily Living · Faithfulness · Life Chronicles · Whispers of Faith

Are You Ready & Eager to Surrender to Him?

Three years ago, when I turned thirty, I wrote up “The Thirty Manifesto: {Purposeful Dreaming for the Best Decade Yet}.” Rather than a checklist or a bucket list, it was a list of reminders for how I wanted my life to be lived – so that the thirties would not be a decade wasted – but rather a way to bring all glory to the One who makes life possible.

As we turned the calendar into November today, a month before birthday #33, I began thinking about that list and if it was still on the forefront of my mind. I know me so well – writing down high-sounding ideals and then quickly forgetting about them with the passage of time.

But I truly want to grow in these areas in my thirties and remember to cultivate them. So I figured that it would be worth my time the month before my birthday to explore and mine the depths of them – to examine if I really have been making them a priority and if not, how I could start doing so.

I may not end up posting all of them to my blog, but to kick off the first of the month, here are my thoughts on the first one:

Whatever God wants you to do with your life, be ready and eager to surrender to it.

Isn’t it easy to pen words that are much harder to live out in real life? Did I ever imagine that I’d have to surrender to so much being taken away from me in the last year? Of course not. How can we ever know these things? But this is exactly why I wrote this out – because I had no idea what God had in store for my life, but I wanted to gladly accept and submit as He revealed it to me.

What does it mean to be ready to surrender to it?

While none of us are quite “ready” for the next step in our lives, being ready to surrender means being prepared to trust God to lead us through, no matter how difficult it might feel. That’s why we make the commitment ahead of time – so that when the time comes, the surrender won’t require a debate.

The process of surrendering might take some time, but the decision to surrender should already be made. If we make up our minds that submitting to God’s will for our lives is the only way we’re going to live it, then we can have peace in all circumstances – because we know that He is working all of those circumstances out for our good and His glory.

Being ready to surrender also doesn’t mean it won’t be hard or that you won’t shed some tears along the way. I read somewhere online these words – “You can make the right decision and still feel sad about it” – and they resonated with me. Even decisions that I feel sure of and that I’m even excited about can bring with them a tinge of sadness over what I’m leaving behind.

But as I’m learning to trust the Lord through them, my surrender also means that I’m giving Him my emotions in the process. I’m entrusting my sadness, my fear, my worry over the next step to Him and believing that He will bring me the comfort and courage that I need.

Would it actually be surrender if it was easy? No, I don’t think so. Surrendering means laying something down. Giving something up. Submitting to a divine will that knows what’s best for your life. And this is difficult. We naturally want to know how everything is going to work out. We want to be absolutely positive that we’re making the right choice and that our lives will be successful and that we’re increasing our happiness.

But sometimes God asks us to go down a path that not many understand – that maybe doesn’t look like the world’s understanding of success and happiness – and we have to trust that in the end, it will lead to more joy in Him. Which leads to being eager to surrender to Him.

What does it mean to be eager to surrender to it?

Being eager to surrender doesn’t mean that we’re always excited about the things God brings our way. Certainly the things He has asked me to walk through this year – my grandma and dad passing away, my jobs being taken away from me, a global pandemic – these are all incredibly heartbreaking and things to mourn over.

Yet, with Job, I must learn to say, “‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’” (Job 1:21)

I may not be eager to walk through the trials that come my way. But I am praying that I would learn to be eager for what they produce in me. I pray that I would be eager to grow in righteousness and godliness. I pray that I would be eager to accept the wisdom that God will grant me as I walk through the challenges of life. I pray that I would be eager to learn from them and pass on what I’ve learned to others in younger stages of life.

When new opportunities come my way that I feel are from the Lord, I pray that I would not shy away from them in fear, but that I would eagerly and courageously step forward into them. I pray that I would throw my heart into learning new things so that I can serve the Lord in deeper ways.

Being eager to surrender means that you know that God has greater things in store for your life than you could ever imagine – so you desire His plans over your own, even when they don’t seem to make sense.

I also pray that I would not spend so much time complaining about things I lack in this season of life that I miss the opportunities and blessings that God has so graciously given me. If my life looks different from others my age, I pray that I would humbly accept that as God’s best for my life and seek to glorify Him with it.

I know this will be a lifelong pursuit – one that I won’t fully ever “accomplish.” But I pray that with each passing year, I would grow a little more in this pursuit of surrender so that my life is characterized by it, not caught off-guard by it.

The pilgrim road may be arduous at points, but I know that the end goal will make it all worth it. May I keep that goal in sight as I trust my Guide and Good Shepherd.

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

Photo by Quentin Honoré on Unsplash.

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