Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Surrender & Crosses

A lot of people probably don't think I am capable of serious and deep thoughts, but occasionally, I get lost in thought, and behold - a deep thought!

There has been one thought on my mind a lot lately. I recently bought an awesome CD by the one member of the Booth Brother who is not a Booth, Jim Brady. One of the songs he wrote is titled "To Know You More". The chorus says "Only to know you more, that's what I am living for. Total surrender is the cry of my heart, Lord. I live and breathe, only to know you more".

Total surrender. It isn't something that is talked about much anymore. The first definition I found for surrender is "to yield to the power or possession of another". Sounds rather scary. To be honest, I am not sure I have ever reached that point. Total surrender to God. If we are surrendered to Him, we won't question Him, blame Him, doubt Him.

Jesus talked a lot about denying oneself, and taking up our cross and following Him. We don't like to talk about that. We want to hear about love, and what God will do for us. I admit, I have been there. All too often. I have told God, "look at what I have done, and am trying to do, why can't you do this for me?"

Jesus doesn't say what this cross is, and I believe that is because it is different for all of us. For some, it is going through life with an unbelieving spouse. A body defect, or disease. Childlessness. A single life. I could be wrong, but I think we all have something to bear, and it isn't aways something spiritual, but can help or hinder us spiritually, depending on our attitude toward it and God.

I decided some years ago, whether correctly or not, what my cross is. At least one of them. Who is to say we carry only one? And yet, I still find myself questioning God on it. Why me? I mentioned feeling I need to be more thankful. I also need to work on this idea of self denial and total surrender.

People use different terms to describe the same thing. My church calls it sanctification. Other terms have been given it, but it all boils down to the same thing: total, absolute surrender. Someone said it is giving God a blank piece of paper, and letting Him write on it what He wants. It is dumping everything that is our life, hopes, dreams, desires - all into God's hands and letting Him do what He wants.

The thing is, He really does know best. Life isn't fair, and often doesn't make sense, but He always has a reason. A life of full surrender isn't going to trip and fall when things look bad.

Looking back over my life, I have to admit that most of my problems lie in my view of God. I think if God loves me, He will act this way, and do that, and answer these prayers. If I were completely surrendered to God, would I expect Him to act according to my wishes?

There is a hymn we sing at church. It has three verses, and to sum the song up in a few words, it says "I will go where God wants me to go, I will be what God wants me to be, I will say what God wants me to say." Songs like that always scared me when I was younger. I was afraid God would take me up on it! I could never see myself as a missionary or pastor, but what if He called me?!

Being surrendered to God doesn't mean we are all going to end up on the other side of the world, or pastoring far away from family and friends. It does mean we give complete control of our life to God, and let Him do what He wants with all that we have, and all that we are. It is something I need to work on, and something we all need to do, if we haven't already.


Kim M. said...

Great post! I like the part about letting Him write what He wants. If you think about it, it's pretty scary to think what messes we will make of our lives if we don't let Him write our lives. :-)