Wednesday, March 21, 2007

You know the feeling that you just need to be willing to let God be the one in control?To be willing to do whatever it is He asks, whether it brings immediate joy or the sorrow that we've been promised will be followed by joy in the morning?

I thought I'd been winning the battle of surrender--and I think that in some ways I was, in the initial things God has asked me to surrender. But it seems like we never quite run out of battles and opportunities to surrender to God's plans and wisdom. I'm realizing that after I turn one thing over to God, there's usually something else I need to turn over next, sometimes even another facet of the same issue I hadn't contemplated before when I'd *thought* I'd surrendered and was willing for any possibility.

I suppose that if you've got decisions or battles in front of you, it increases the desire for a listening heart, hearing ears, and willingness...But decisions are things I get tired of encountering. School decisions, even struggles in friendships--these are battles that I'm sometimes so unsure how to respond to, or I simply lack the desire to respond to in the way I know is right. Lately God's been working on my willingness and desire to let Him control all of me, right down to the intangible desires that are sometimes just as distracting as the tangible things I see right in front of me. It can be difficult to remember how wonderful His ways are when they seem hard at the moment.

I thought I'd reconciled myself to doing whatever You asked of me.
I was learning to surrender like Abraham.
But what if You asked me to be like his son?
I myself might feel prepared to sacrifice;
what if it feels like I'm the one being sacrificed?
Make me willing to sacrifice.
Make me willing to be sacrificed.
Make me willing to lay things down on the altar.
Make me willing to be laid down on the altar.
I know You want me to learn
to trust You with the things I care about,
to trust You that things will turn out well in the end
regardless of whether You hold back my hand.
Grant me the faith to lay my future wherever You ask me to.
Grant me the faith to remember, like Abraham, that Your Word is infallible.
He believed as he sacrificed that You were even able to raise his son up from the dead.
He didn't reject Your promise.
He rejected the idea that death was more powerful than Your promise.
Surrendering never negates Your plans.
But it beautifies them.
Surrender may mean sacrifice,
Or it may simply mean being willing to sacrifice, should that be what You require.
Help me even to stop making up my own mind to sacrifice my desires to the death
when all You've asked is that I be willing to put You first.
It might seem holier, and maybe simpler or desirably quick
to just go ahead and kill the sacrifice.
I could sever things with a single plunge.
But that isn't surrender if it isn't what You've asked me to do.
Remind me that You who can resurrect in a heartbeat
also have authority over whether my hand is stayed.
And if it should be Your desire, give me the strength to climb onto the altar myself.
As long as Your plan is fulfilled, so am I.
Help me stop trying to figure it all out.
Enable me to rid my sight of speculation.
It makes it so much harder to walk by light.
In the meantime, help me stop looking for the ram.
Instead, may it be Your face I seek,and Your heart that I attain.

"Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds." (Ps 136:5)