I surrender some: Learning to let go

loving jesus Dec 25, 2019

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love & trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all.
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

As I sang these words this morning, a vivid picture came to mind: I was handing things over to God—concerns, situations, people—and as He took hold of them, I pulled them back. I kept telling myself to let go, but I just couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I didn’t want to completely take them back… I wanted God’s hands on them, but I wanted mine on them too. Even as I sang “I surrender all”, I couldn’t make myself—even just in my little daydream—let go of what I needed to give to Him.

What are you struggling to surrender today? And why is it so darn hard? Here are my thoughts:


Is it just my imagination…?

Imagination is a fun tool, an amazing gift from God. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and every blessing from God can be easily twisted in our brokenness. We use our imaginations to dwell in the past and to worry about the future. The scenarios we imagine cause us to fear surrender to God, but there is an inherent flaw in that thinking. You see, when we imagine something, we are in control, not God. It is not God’s control we should be fearing—it’s our own control that is scary!


Is God good?

Author Angie Smith writes about the day her world turned upside-down: the day she found out that her precious little Audrey Caroline would likely never see life outside of the womb. Angie’s first response was, “I think that my Jesus is the same as He was before I walked into this room.” Our circumstances may be bad—sometimes they are unbearable—but God remains good through it all. In fact, He alone is good: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Why would we want anyone who falls short to be the person making the calls?


It’s (not) all about me

Few things are harder than letting go of control over our children. We worry God will test us if we surrender them to Him, intentionally allowing something bad to happen to see the depth of our resolve. What a selfish view! To think that God would allow harm to my children only to test me assumes that I am more important to God than my children are. It also paints a picture of a spiteful God who is not the Father I know Him to be from both the Bible and my own life.

Of course we learn from difficult situations. As my daughter battled months of chronic pain and fatigue last year, we saw God’s Hand again and again. We learned to lean on Him when we didn’t think we could face another day. We learned how to persevere when answers and solutions weren’t readily available. We endured. However, to assume trials come to our children (or spouses or others we love) simply to test whether we “really mean it” when we give them over to God is unrealistic and shows a rather warped view of God and the world.


Surrender is not what you think

I think God is actually up in heaven, chuckling and shaking His head at our struggle with surrender. Because, you see, surrender isn’t a duty—it’s a gift. We hold on to our worries, thinking, “What if something happens to my husband? To my kids? To me?” We worry about relationships, about money, about plans for the future. But does refusing to give those things over to God mean that they’re not going to happen? Of course not. As Jesus says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27) God allows us to surrender so that we can be free from worrying about things that are not in our control.

Surrender isn’t really about giving up control—because we don’t really have control anyway. Surrender doesn’t mean bad things are less likely—or more likely—to happen. Surrender is about taking a deep breath, giving up our worries, and trusting the One who is in control. The One who is good, the One who sees the big picture.

I surrender all.

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