“I put no conditions on my surrender.”
I mumbled those words after wrestling with something I feared God wanted me to do, but I dreaded.
“Lord, you’re really not asking me to do that are you?
You know that’s the one thing I’m most terrified of doing!
I’ve watched enough movies to know that in times of war, the defeated general often has the option of negotiating conditions of surrender before capture.
So I figured, why can’t it work that way with God? Why can’t we humans negotiate a truce? Why does God have to have complete surrender?
I’ve rationalized surrenders with conditions attached the majority of my life. I’ve bargained for partial obedience or what seemed to me a fair compromise of, “You want this but I’ll do that. Are you sure? Ok, I will if…”
And I can attest to the fact that God never forced me to follow. In fact, He often let me have my way, and my way ended up resulting in terrible things happening. So you’d think I’d learn.
Yet even though I’m stubborn, in those recent moments when I faced one of my worst fears, something miraculous happened—it seemed like the ultimate act of devotion to say, “I put no conditions on my surrender.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the words tumbled out of my mouth because I’m some super-spiritual person. NOT! I’m a coward at heart and quite willful at times (just ask my husband, children, family, friends, or work colleagues).
Here’s a mixed media and poem I created during one of those times when surrender was a challenge.
But in those recent moments, surprisingly, something stirred deep within. Something I couldn’t generate on my own. Something wonderful that caused me to want His will above my own, even if I didn’t completely understand what that was.
- It must have been grace because I don’t have that kind of resolve.
- It must have been grace that stirred a longing to trust, completely, without any conditions.
- It must have been grace that helped me to let go of my understanding.
Today, I’m grateful for His grace even though I still don’t like the surrender part!
Have you ever felt that way? Struggled to let go of something or someone you loved or do something you were terrified of doing?
If you have, here’s one of my mainstays:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5,6