DayBreaks for 09/28/11 – Winning Through Surrender
You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. – Proverbs 19:21
My, how we think we are “large and in charge!” We think we’ve got it all figured out, have our next 5-10 years or longer all planned out. We’ve thought about where we want to retire, what we want to do in retirement, where we want to go, how we want to live. And we set about making all those plans come true.
Just this past week we were treated to the spectacle of space debris falling to earth. They said it could hit practically anywhere from the north pole to the south pole, but not to worry – most of the area in between is water, and the odds of being hit were extremely slim. So are the odds of winning the lottery, but every now and then someone does win it, don’t they? What’s my point? Not that you need to be afraid of the space debris hitting you, but rather that things are really not all in our control…not at all.
Instead of trying to control, manipulate and manage our lives, the Bible says we need to surrender our lives to the control of Christ. Surrender? Isn’t that a dirty word?
Some think surrender is a passive thing or an abdication of our responsibilities. It isn’t. It’s saying “yes” to God and life each day, accepting all He has given us, letting go of any envy if he gives others more, but perhaps most of all, it’s letting go of outcomes that we can’t own or control anyway. We must surrender our ambitions, dreams, money, relationships, time and desires to God. You might think that’s a bit extreme, but let me ask: isn’t surrender to the idea of His control reality? There’s a wonderful meditation that helps us come to this understanding (I found this in John Ortberg’s book, When the Game Is Over It All Goes Back in the Box):
I am of a nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old. I can’t stop the process, short of death, no matter how much Botox, plastic surgery or Viagra I ingest.
I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health. As I age, my body will have a mind of its own and will begin to fail – slowly at first, them more rapidly as time progresses.
I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death. No one has ever managed to escape death by their own volition. It may be shocking to some, but the death rate is 100%.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. Either they, or I, or both, will change and the relationships between myself and them will change, too…and fade.
My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.
All those things help put life into perspective for us. If we think we are in control, the day will come when we are pulled up short and reality will come crashing in. But there’s a GREAT blessing in surrendering to His control: it frees us from the responsibility for the outcome. We can’t control or manipulate events to ensure a good outcome, or even a positive one. He can. He will. He does. And therefore God is responsible for the outcomes, not me. Thank the Lord for that!
PRAYER: Thank you that we don’t have to make the desired outcomes happen…that it is up to You to managed the outcome. Ours is simply to surrender to you in faith and trust each moment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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