Spiritual practice: Surrender
When the weight pressing against you becomes too much to bear, what do you do? Great question, but I am not so glad you asked. If I respond honestly, I would have to say that I “try harder.” That works about as well for me as I imagine that it does for you.
Perhaps as a temporary reprieve you can flex your muscles and try harder. Ultimately, however, you will find yourself pushing against a weight you cannot bear.
I knew that I needed to practice the act of surrender. I knew because nothing else worked. Thankfully I can recall times when surrendering my burdens to God has proven to be exactly the right move. We attempt to carry far more than we have ever been asked, and then we wonder why we don’t seem to be moving like we expected.
I wish that I could adequately describe the relief I experienced by surrendering; I will simply begin by saying that I wish I had done it sooner. But that is how we operate, isn’t it? We measure ourselves by our success against great obstacles. We forget that it is not our success at all; and that is why God reminds us.
I also wish that I could say I had surrendered before helping my sons prepare for school. I did not. In fact, it was my own inadequacy in that department that pushed me to the point of surrender. So, by God’s grace, I brought my sons to school and then had a talk with my Father as I drove to work. It was in that talk that He undid me: undid my false beliefs, undid my false expectations, undid my false fears. In short, He laid me bare. And that was exactly what I needed.
The blessings of the day and the course of the day, I am certain, were only available to me because of what I had set down. My day was filled with more surprises than I can even recall. I was free to receive.
We often sing a remix of an old, old song. With our lives we sing,
“I surrender some, I surrender some (just this and not that)! Some to Jesus I surrender (hey, I said not THAT), I surrender some!”
Thank the Lord there is mercy when we sing, because we often sing a wish more than we sing truth. I surrender some. And tomorrow I will be prone to take it back. Much like the joke of losing 15 pounds but finding 20, we like to measure ourselves against our problems. Alone in that, we will always come up short.
There is an accurate word of encouragement that applies here: Do not tell God how big your problems are; tell your problems how big your God is.
He knows; He is.
Surrender that burden you carry and watch the gift God will pour back into you.