I sometimes wonder if we tire as often as we do because we are holding on so tightly to so many things. Our lives can be so cluttered with things we have done, left partially finished, or still have not faced. I think we hold on because we are trying to control more than we realize. We try to control what might be taken from us, how others may view us, what masks we wear, and whom we let into our stories.
Of course, from time to time, everything slips away from our grasp and it can be easy to feel frantic about gathering all the bits and pieces back up again. It takes a while for us to see it is all an illusion. We do it over and over again despite being sons and daughters of the Lord. His life models surrender, but we avoid that as long as possible when it is exactly what is needed to gain peace and allow Him to lead.
It is when we cannot hold on any longer that we discover the sweetness His arms offer. It is when our striving ends that we feel truly light.
The journey with Linda gave me many glimpses of what it means to let go, to surrender. Listen to what she writes in her journal about that:
“Surrender! It sounds like something bad – but it’s really good. It’s letting go of it all! It’s saying, ‘Here, take it!’ It’s turning things over to someone else’s control! It’s giving up what I want…and letting God control…my life, my plans, my steps…all of it.
Remember when you gave your heart to God and asked Jesus in? You said, ‘Lord, you take control. I surrender to you!’ Did you really mean it?
I sat in church a few weeks ago and couldn’t sing, couldn’t stand – couldn’t even raise my hands! I was tired, sick, in pain, and I sat there and cried! I silently prayed: Lord, where are you? I want to sing and yet my tears and pain drown out the song in my heart! I want to dance and leap for you, but I don’t have the energy to stand! So I sat and wept.
Ever so gently the Lord spoke to my spirit and reminded me…I surrendered to Him. I gave Him full control. Even when I don’t understand. Even when it hurts. Even in the tears. Even when I don’t SEE what God’s doing! He asked, ‘Do you trust me?’ Yes, Lord, I trust you with my heart, with my very life! I have surrendered it all to you. Even my very life! I gave you full control! No matter what happens…!
I was once again reminded of that day in the hospital. The test over and done, yet something was so wrong! The nurses were flying about, doctors in and out.
As my blood pressure fell to 50/30 – the Lord’s peace filled the room and my heart. Once again He asked me, ‘Do you trust me?’ Oh, yes, Lord, I do! Then He asked, ‘Even if I take you home?’ My answer was, ‘Yes, Lord, even if you choose to take me home! I’ve surrendered it all to you – even my life!
I still can’t explain the peace I felt! I could feel His presence and such a calm came into my heart! It was okay…whether I stayed or went home! I KNEW God was in control and he’d do what was best…for me, for everyone around! I’ve given Jesus full control. I’ve surrendered and I’m free! I know no matter what happens God will pick what’s best! He’s promised!
His peace is still with me…inside, real deep! Even when I don’t understand, even when I’m in pain, even when I can’t stand or sing or lift my hands in praise to Him! I trust Him…completely!
We struggle with trying to hold on, yet when we let go, we find You holding on better. It’s in the ‘release’ that we see Your hand clearer!
Do you? No matter what?”
There are other pages and other words in her journal, but let me close this four part series with the last paragraph in her journal before it became too difficult to write:
“I told one of my links (supports) that I can picture myself at the ‘end of my rope’ and I know Your hand, Lord, is right there to catch me. But even after I’ve let go…I’m velcroed to the rope…but it’s really You that’s still holding me up! Thanks, Lord!”