Friday, July 5, 2013

Surrender?

The Lord is so quiet. 

Or perhaps my spiritual "ears" are clogged. 

Maybe it's not that He's quiet, but He's only whispering one thing, and I don't know how to comply.

Surrender.

What does that mean?  I how does that look?  I honestly don't know.  I can look back over the last few things I feel like the Lord has spoken to my heart (albeit few and far between) but they feel like clues I am trailing to discover what exactly this directive involves.

"Love and worship," He said-- the two things which I should make my focus. Loving God, and loving and worshiping God by loving others.  Simple, but not easy.

"Be still," He said.  Have you ever really tried to just be still, not only in body, but in mind?  I find it to be terribly challenging.  I can be still in body, a good couch or recliner and I can be physically still for (far too many) hours, but my mind?  No.  My brain is always running, over analyzing, thinking, rethinking, planning,  fretting over the things I've done or said and what other people might be thinking about them or me.  If there were such a thing as mental gymnastics, I would be an Olympic gold medalist the way my mind flip flops and runs about. 

"Rest," He said.  All the time in the recliner in a year will not qualify as rest if I cannot find a way to be still in my mind. 

I keep asking the Lord, for years now even, "What do you require of me?" And immediately one verse comes to my mind: "Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly before your God."  Even seeking counsel from a godly friend and adviser who I trust, sharing with him my struggles, he said, "I believe the Lord gave me a verse for you." And it was the same, "Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly.  I think the second and third parts of this verse (the most challenging for me) are all part of this bigger picture instruction: SURRENDER.

And yet, I have no idea what it means.  So I ask myself, what does "surrender" mean? (Literally.)

1a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner b : to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

Yield power and control... to agree to forgo in favor of another (the Lord)... to give myself up into the power of another...

Giving up is hard, even into God's capable hands.  Giving up friendships, opportunities, material things, more so non-material things like gifts and talents; give up hopes dreams, desires, aspirations.  These are the things with which we define ourselves.  So in the end, when we are asked to Surrender, we are being asked to give up who we see ourselves as.

At least that's how I feel.  I feel like God is saying, let go of who you (think) you are.  And that scares me. It feels like an impending death, like God is just asking me to die to who I am. 

Oh wait...

Didn't the Bible say something about dying to oneself?  Is that surrender?

I still don't think I know how to do it... but I guess I have a place to start...

2 comments:

JESSICA REYNOLDS RENSHAW said...

I love you, Diana. I've gotten way behind on reading blogs--a combination of full-time care giving for my increasingly forgetful and fragile older brother and part-time care giving for our son and daughter-in-love's new twins. That means I haven't been praying for you as much as when I read your posts. I want to do better.

JESSICA REYNOLDS RENSHAW said...

I do want to add, about stillness, that no matter what is or isn't happening between me and God I am learning to speak thanks to Him. Even when it's an effort and it's almost rote prayer, I say random things like, "I love you. You are good all the time. You are my Father. You know what You're doing and You do all things well."

Sometimes it is just babbling. I don't feel what I'm saying but on some level I know it's true. And my saying it whether I am able to mean it or not glorifies Him.