Reading a friend's writing recently got me thinking about what it means to surrender.
I love hanging out with my nephew, Miles - I assure you, he's the coolest 4-year-old around. Nonetheless, around lunchtime just before his nap, he can be a bit of a handful. He gets crabby and is so overtly in need of rest that its almost laughable how strongly he resists. The longer he puts off the dreaded nap time the more whiney he becomes. He struggles and strives to stay awake and keep going, much to his own detriment. And then in what seems like a moment, he lets go. He gives in. His little body thankfully receives rest - the last thing he wanted but the fulfillment of his most urgent need.
At 27 (nearly 28!) I too often find myself in the same predicament as my sweet little nephew. I struggle; I strive; I plead with the Lord for what I want. I try to keep going, confident that I know what I need, what will make me happy. All the while, I'm exhausted - so gripped by what I want, yet oblivious to what I need. I hope the Lord lets out a good natured laugh as He invites me to rest. And so I wonder if this is what it means to surrender - to let go of my hopes and dreams and enter into rest, confident that what the Lord gives is far better than what I can grasp for myself.
Letting go. Giving in. Surrendering. For Miles that decision comes just after lunch each day - I wish I had it that easy. In this season, it seems to be a moment-by-moment need - though a challenge, I'm grateful for all that I'm learning about trust and dependency upon the Father. It helps me understand Jesus' admonition that we come to him as little children - aware of our weakness and need; not ashamed to be dependent. I'm hopeful that this weakness might serve as a window to put on display the surpassing strength, power, and beauty of our loving Father.
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.