Throughout history men and women have been required to surrender. Some surrendered their freedom, both forcefully and voluntarily, others have surrendered territory, governments, religious liberties or possessions, some have surrendered control and still others have surrendered their lives. Surrendering is a scary thing. It implies that you are no longer in control.
To not be in control tests you beyond measure. It tests your patience, your trust, your faith and your ability to cooperate with others. Being a Type A personality, surrendering is especially hard. Being told what to do and when to do it goes against everything within me. To surrender carries the stigma of being weak, unable to take care of or protect, or to fall short. The weak are taken advantage of, told every move to make and exploited. Some become so used to being told what they can and can not do, by a system or by someone, that they can no longer think or function apart from the system or the person. I’ve heard stories of men and women who have been incarcerated for so long that even natural bodily functions have a hard time adjusted to freedom if they are released.
Webster defines surrender as giving oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield. Sounds terrifying and wonderful at the same time. To give myself up means that I am no longer in control, I am at the end of myself, I can’t call the shots, set the agenda or determine the goal. I have no voice and no responsibility for the outcome. Yielding to another takes away the burden of responsibility and that sounds wonderful!
The idea of surrendering totally and completely to God has always been a struggle for me. I am sure that people think because my husband and I serve in ministry that we do not struggle with that idea, but the truth is, we do. No matter who you are, or what you do, the concept of surrendering 100% to God can be a wrestling match between your head and your heart. The heart wants to live in total surrender but the head explains, in detail, all the reasons why that is a ludicrous idea. A life of surrender seems an impossible destination. A destination in which I do not question God and His instructions or where I never wonder if I received the right instructions or, even wondered if I thought them up on my own, can’t possibly exist. It is a destination that seems too good to be true and as mysterious as the lost City of Atlantis.
The only way I know to find the place of surrender is one day and one step at a time. There are no one way tickets or GPS routes, it is a day by day, minute by minute, array of choices that determine how long it takes to get there. Each choice either propels me forward, or sets me on a detour. The more I depend on my type A personality to think and reason my way through, the longer the detour can take. I want to find the place of surrender and relinquish control to the only One who matters. I want to crawl up into His lap and let Him show me the way. I want to trust myself enough to know that I am hearing from Him and not leaning on my own understanding. I want to build a home in the place of surrender, crawl up on the roof and yell “In my weakness He is strong! I surrender!”