What does it look and feel like to wait well in a posture of surrender?
Sometimes it’s not so pretty. . . .
I recently found a journal entry of mine from several years ago. My husband was in the thick of a storm with a chronic illness. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, and no end in sight to his suffering. Did I mention we were also newlyweds!
I penned these words one night about a year into our season of suffering:
“Isn’t the goal in life to be more like Jesus, a faith like Jesus has to trust in the plan.
Yet…what’s the plan? I wish I knew, but I don’t and that isn’t the point. The point is to bring me to my knees in dependence on Him — the only One my hope is to remain in. The point is for me to die. . . .
This process is painful . . . the falling to my knees, carrying my cross.
When Jesus carried His cross, the cross that would soon be the death of him on earth, He trusted in the plan.
As Christians we don’t like carrying our cross. I don’t like carrying this cross. “I hate it,” to be honest.
Yet, being a follower of Christ is about dying. It’s not about service, or kindness or even love. It is through the process of dying that we can serve, love and shine the brightest. Death is the gateway to life.”
My emotions were as raw and as real as it gets, yet even then I understood that a cup of suffering would produce in me the ability to truly surrender and that in that surrender there would be freedom.
In that surrender, I could wait well. . . .
Yet, how do we wait well? How do we truly surrender an area of our life, whether it be for healing, for a desire of the heart, for the salvation of a loved one, or for strength during a difficult season?
Remaining anchored to your “Word”.
The part that I didn’t mention above was that about two months prior to my husband getting sick, God would speak very clearly to him one morning on his way to work. The Lord said, “Ryan, a storm is coming, yet I am with you.” Those words, along with additional words God spoke to my heart, would become my anchor.
In the book, “Good or God” by John Bevere, the author writes; “Jesus declared that this type of revelation knowledge[e.g a Word from God] is what the church would be built on and that hell’s forces could not stop those who possessed it.”
Continually laying down our cross
In my crying out to God during that season, processing my despair and frustration led me to God’s Word. I found myself in the book of Mark one morning where Jesus called the crowd to Him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” Mark 8:34-35
Our flesh will always want to drop the cross. It will always want to save itself. It will always want to figure out the plan. Sometimes the process of surrender is a daily one, and often many times each day. Yet, it is a necessary one.
Intimate communion with God
I love this quote from Bill Johnson: “One of the greatest things God wants to give us is a promise not an answer. A promise establishes hope (and hope anchors our soul) and causes us to seek Him and not an answer.”
When we seek God and not an answer, it draws us closer to him in relationship. This intimacy with God gives us a greater ability to have ears to hear and a heart to receive.
What do we yield when we surrender?
As I have been meditating this week on our DECLARE scripture in Proverbs 8:19, I have been focusing on the word “yield.”
I can only speak from personal experience. Yet, I know that the times I have surrendered an area of my life, it felt like the fruits of the spirit were fully ripened. I yielded love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The greatest benefit of surrender…
Yet, the greatest benefit to surrender is that it gives us a unique story. A unique perspective that becomes our greatest offering to someone else in a similar struggle.
Do not take this benefit for granted. God’s word says that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the WORD of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). The word of our testimony becomes our greatest tool in hand to equip and empower another person!!
Let’s use it to fight mighty battles for the glory of God!!