“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
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Here’s mine. Raised in the Baptist church. My mother passed when I was twelve and I drifted away from the church mad at God. Ran with the worst of them for many years. A couple of times over the next few decades I tried to become the kind of Christian pictured in the book of Matthew. It didn’t work, I just did not fit in .(I’ll condense this) Then I began to pray for God to direct my path and show me what He wanted me to do. Then one day he did and has continued to guide me ever since. God points, I fetch. Simple as that.
Great post by the way.
I appreciate your story. Although mine isn’t exactly the same, I can relate with a lot of what you wrote: “I just did not fit in. Then I began to pray for God to direct my path and show me what He wanted me to do. Then one day he did and has continued to guide me ever since.”
Thank you for taking the time to write such an honest and encouraging comment!
I’m glad if I said something that helped. Maybe God directed me here.
Thanks for following my blog. I’m not posting much but maybe…..
It would be so much easier to surrender if God would give complete understanding, but then were would be the faith and trust? Very timely piece. Thank you for sharing.
Linda, I agree. It would be so much easier. Someday we will fully understand, but then I wonder whether it will matter very much when we are face to face with Him. Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom with me.
Jo Dee…your post rings so true in my heart. Earlier this year I had to surrender something that broke my heart. Amazingly now a couple of months later, my heartache has healed and though my circumstances have not changed, by God’s grace I am changed with new joy and peace that’s past understanding. God’s grace truly is amazing! Thanks for sharing this timely post!
Thank you for sharing your personal experience with unconditional surrender. It always encourages me to hear others say that the heart does heal by God’ grace. He is so wonderful!
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