Faith To Surrender

Early Sunday morning as I was driving to our Easter service, I was thinking about the
faith it takes to surrender to the Lord and His will for our lives.  I
realized we would not be celebrating Easter if Jesus had not surrendered to His
Father's will of the death on the cross. 
He is our wonderful example.

 

The faith that is
involved in surrendering to His will is not easy.  Hebrews 12:2 b say
Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.
(NLT) or the NKJV who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising
the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  
Jesus
thought about what he was going to have to endure.  I always wonder how he
went from the last meal with his disciples, where he served them: lovingly
washing their feet sharing what we now call communion with them--and also
knowing what was coming as he released Judas to his mission of betrayal..
Then they made the trip to the Garden of Gethsemane.   Have you ever
brought people who you know care about you into a situation and asked them to
pray or stand with you, but have them fall short of what you thought you needed
them to do?  Jesus implored his friends to pray with him, but they fell
short.  His prophetic words to Peter about his upcoming denial must have
added to his pain.

 

Two aspects of that
scripture in Hebrews stand out to me.  He
endured the cross and he disregarded its shame. 
We are not asked to be crucified on a cross, we are asked to carry
it.  That can bring shame as well.  Our culture is not pro-cross carriers in the
United States at this time, and we are called to carry it anyway.    We do it for the joy that is set before us. 

But still Jesus
pressed on.  We won't be asked to endure the cross and have the sins of
the world upon us, but at times we are asked to surrender to what may feel
unfair or impossible.  Years ago, Darryl and I were scheduled to take our
two children and drive to Rhode Island from Idaho.  We prepped and
planned, believing God would send us money to make the trip.  We were
pioneering a small church and were able to live and pay our bills each month,
but did not have any extra for the trip.  Darryl built some beds in our VW
van as we planned on sleeping in it to avoid motel expenses.  As the day
of departure drew near, we still didn't have the extra funds.  I remember
my husband declaring, "Satan, we will leave here.  God will make a
way and that is that.” It seemed foolish and silly to set out on a 2000 mile
trip with little funds.   Long story
short, we left Idaho with about $40 and ended up in Rhode Island with $50.
There were many difficult adventures on that trip, but we made it.
We left on the trip with God's Word of Faith in our hearts and a complete
peace knowing we were being obedient to His will.  Because we chose
obedience in spite of what we saw or had in our pockets--God opened the door to
relationships we still enjoy and affect to this day.

 

I am not comparing what Jesus obediently endured on the same level as that
story at all.  I am encouraging us to listen to His voice and trust Him,
even when it seems impossible.  Sometimes faith surrender means you do
things "on the quiet", where nobody knows it was you.  NO
glamor, No glory, just a quiet step of obedience that will bring blessing by
Him.

Laying up treasure in
heaven doesn't always manifest itself on earth.  Sometimes, surrender
faith means you humble yourself and put someone else ahead of you. 

 

Last month I said yes
to the Lord in supporting a ministry in New England on a monthly basis, rather
than giving from time to time.  It was a faith step I wanted to do, but
financially seemed difficult.  I committed and God has been surprising me
with some amazing extra gifts to Impart Ministries.  No one knew of my
commitment but me, Jesus and the ministry.  He is faithful.  

 

Sometimes our
surrendering faith means we bear with things we don't like.  Paul had his
thorn in the flesh.  I am living without my Darryl.  His stroke
happened seven years ago this week, and I am still surrendering to His will in
this area.  There is nothing I can do about changing it, but I find myself
still struggling at times.  Then I pray for His grace and ask Him to use
me, teach me, help me, make the most out of this difficult time for His purpose
and HIs glory.  I see His fruitfulness in my life.  As I read about
Jesus struggle in the Garden, I understand He understands and that is
comforting and encouraging.  Surrendering to His will is always best, but
not always easy.