Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Confession 190: Abiding in Surrender

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,  
  My grace is enough; it's all you need.
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9

Surrender can be a bitter pill to swallow.  Many of us go to a place of surrender to God only after life's circumstance throws a huge obstacle in our path we can't climb over, go around, dig under or push through.  We finally say, "That's it!  I give up!  You take it God."  And then we stand back, hands on hips, catching our breath while we wait for God to vaporize it.  And we wait, and wait, and wait.  A few seconds stretch into minutes.  We look each way, then crane our heads to the sky.  Impatience begins to creep up from our feet, which are itching to get back on the path.  The minutes continue on, but the obstacle is still in the path.  "Did you hear me?" we call to the sky?  "Hello!"  "Hello!?"  "Hello?"  Minutes stretch into hours, which bleed away the day.  Darkness falls  and we find ourselves asking, "God, where are you?"  Days pass into weeks, months, even years.  We've gone from a pup tent to pouring a foundation to a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house.  And still, we wait, surrendering again, and again with each new day.

The reality of surrender is that sometimes, God calls us to abide in it.  As Paul states in the above passage, these seasons of our lives living amidst obstacles we cannot budge are opportunities for God to demonstrate his power.  But sometimes, the power he is demonstrating to us is his power to provide and care for us in the midst of our darkest hours.  And we learn the lesson that surrender is not a one time thing, but something we must do over and over with the dawn of each new day.  Abiding in surrender.

But don't think for a moment that God is being mean, choosing to ignore a very real problem for the sake of disciplining his pig-headed children.  While we are learning to abide in surrender, God is working on the other side of that obstacle building a better rode, toll-free, for us to travel.  He's straightening out the curves, adding extra lanes, re-paving and re-painting.  He's adding new road signs to help guide our path and creating new exits for us to take.  God is working while we're abiding.  Make no mistake about it, God can and will vaporize that obstacle blocking our path, but not before the road, and we, are ready!

Blessings and Peace,
Sara

5 comments:

  1. Our pastor preached on those same verses Sunday. And sometimes when we think God hasn't answered its because we aren't listening to the "no". Great post Sara. Sorry to hear that your boy has strep. No fun.

    I have been thinking about what you said a while ago about writing a devotional book. Have you heard of the publication "The Upper Room"? It is a bi-monthly published devotional that accepts submissions from many different writers from all over the world, maybe its a place to start, to get something published.

    Also Michelle at http://nebraskagraceful.blogspot.com/ does a weekly meme called 'Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday'. You could link up with her on mondays it would probably help to boost your readership, so that when you do get an agent and get that book published you will already have a platform.

    Sorry this comment is so long. I've wanted to send you an e-mail, but didn't know where to do so.
    -Sydney

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  2. Sara, this is such a thought provoking post for me. Especially where I am right now! Thanks for blessing me today :)

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  3. Hey Sydney-thanks for the advice! We get the Upper Room at church and I hadn't even thought about it! My husband has told me too that I need to be linking up with other bloggers. It's just so time consuming! :-( I have been to Michelle's site and love it!

    My e-mail address is sstephenson.snyder@gmail.com

    Aurie, have you read Priscilla Shirer's Life Interrupted? She talks about those long seasons of our lives and events which interrupt our lives. One of the things she said that has stuck with me is that God will never lead you someplace he can't lead you out of.

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  4. Amen sister! I do love the way you write and this particular message is one that's been nagging me for a while. I love it when someone else articulates your own heart.


    Even when sorrows like sea billows roll, it is well with my soul. And my life is beautiful. Even if I'm living in a pup-tent next to a boulder... I suppose this way I get to better appreciate the sky.

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  5. Sara, how funny that you mention the Life Interrupted study by Priscilla Shirer! My MIL gave me that book a couple of weeks ago (don't know why she thought it might be appropriate right now ;) and I just got a chance to start it this week. It is terrific! And, if anyone is considering doing that study on your own, check out lifeway.com. You can download the audio clips for the beginning of each week for just a few dollars apiece. They are definitely worth the money!

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