March 25, 2009

Surrendered

This past week I’ve been reflecting on my season of life and I have been consistently experiencing incredible joy and peace.  Wow!  In the midst of what the world would call a broken heart (trying for 3 years to have another child to only result in a miscarriage), I’ve experienced such different emotion.  There is sadness over such a loss but the emotion that has come from the sadness has been so unexpected - joy and peace.  As I sat with Him over this, I began to realize that I never even asked God “why” this had to happen.  This would be a normal response to such a situation but the question never came to mind. So I asked God, “Why have I not asked Why?”. And He said, “...you’ve surrendered.”  What in the world did He mean by that?

“Why have I not asked Why?”. And He said, “...you’ve surrendered.”

And for several days now he has brought to mind my past three year “desert” that I came out of this past December.  That whole time I fought to hear Him and thought at times He wasn’t listening but really, He was preparing me for today.  The past three years had a purpose and it all had to do with teaching me and preparing me for living a life fully surrendered.  I spent those three years searching for answers from man and my own self effort to be healed, only to amount to an idol which kept my focus off Him and on myself.  And as I’ve mentioned in past posts, for the first time since being diagnosed 16 years ago, I surrendered my disease.  Not just said, “fine Lord, I’ll take it”.  But rather, I began praising Him for it, praising Him for all the blessings that have come as a result of me having it, thanking Him for protecting me and taking care of me “in the fire”, genuinely accepting my “lot” that He has chosen for me.  I didn’t realize at the time that this surrender would totally prepare me for what lay ahead.  In fact, I don’t think I even realized at the time, but when I surrendered, I was giving up the rights and control over my own life and yielding to Him whatever He has and chooses to do with me from this day forward. 

“I was giving up the rights and control over my own life and yielding to Him whatever He has and chooses to do with me from this day forward.” 

So today, when I stand in awe at the miracles that God continues to do in my life, I understand why I am experiencing peace and joy.  It is Him who is at work in me.  It is the result of living a life surrendered to His will, which is only done through Him and by His strength.  I think this is the most peace I’ve experienced in a trial in my life but I also know it took me years to lay down my life at His feet and let Him lead, choosing to accept where He takes me, even if it’s not what I would have chosen for myself.  It’s a very humbling place to be.

I fought for so long because I just couldn’t imagine how fully living for Christ (embracing His will for me) could be better than living for myself due to my circumstances but I was wrong and He was gentle when He revealed it to me.

God’s word says, “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him”.  Denying self is surrendering everything - your hopes, dreams, plans and expectations…yielding to Him and taking up whatever cross He has called you to bare.  Follow Him, walk with Him, accept Him, accept the lot chosen for you by Him.  Care more about His agenda rather than my own!  Denying self/surrendering is the first step and the required step in order to take up your cross and follow.
 
Walking with Jesus is a lifelong process.  I’m grateful that He lets it take a lifetime and never gets impatient and never walks away.  Life has actually been full of excitement and expectation as we watch and wait to see what the Lord has!
“The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.” Psalm 145:13

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