Musings on Life & Ministry
Surrender. Surrender what? I already surrendered my life to Jesus. I believe in him; I know that my salvation is only through him. I make every effort to be Jesus with skin on every day. So, what do I need to surrender?
Give it to God. Give what to God? I can’t just put my burden down and walk away from it. It won’t get solved. It won’t get done. It will just stay and trap me in this reality. I have to do my part if I want God to provide.
Be Still. Still how? I can’t be still. How does anything get done? My kids need to eat. They need clothes to wear. My house needs to be cleaned. My bills need to be paid. I can’t, or it won’t.
I remember a time shortly after I recommitted to God. I was working in our church as the Executive Assistant to two of our executive pastors. I was in the midst of an incredibly, nasty, devastating divorce. I had left my husband after two years of prayer for God to heal my marriage or release me from it. I had taken a $20,000 pay cut, not to mention walked away from his income, just to get out. I was working three jobs to try and maintain my sons’ (3 under 7) standard of living. I remember sitting at my dining room table, looking at my budget spreadsheet. I had cut everything I thought I could. I remember, finally, shutting my laptop and praying, “God you need to show me what to pay because I can’t pay it all.” And, I went to bed. The next morning, God convicted me to let go of my gym membership, which was also one of my three jobs. It was the only thing I had left that was just for me. For my sanity. But, I did.
Because of that single surrender, God blessed me an opportunity that provided over $20,000 in income over the next four months from an unexpected source. I picked up distance running and found the most amazing relationship with God while I ran through the nature trails of our state and local parks. I was able to decrease to one job as soon as the divorce was over and start my seminary education.
All of these blessings because I let go of the one thing that I thought was going to keep me sane through my hardship. Which the gravity of which would not be fully realized until many months later during my coursework designed to equip me for ministry. God used my seminary education to help me understand the questions: “Surrender what?” “Give what?” “Still how?”
The solution. Reverse it. When we first encounter an obstacle, be still! Wait for God to show you what he wants you to give and then freely give it! Regardless of the cost. God blesses obedience. We cannot hear God’s request unless we are still and eager to listen.
“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33, NIV).