What do you find most difficult to surrender to God?
Ever since I was a young believer in Christ, a governing thought has been, My life on earth will end. All of us know this, but some of us suppress it. As morbid as this might sound, I’ve tried to look at the end of my life and work back from my death. It really brings perspective. But it also demands I hang onto everything loosely, since I won’t have it permanently. Of course, my nature fights this, and it’s here I must pray a prayer of surrender: “Lord, not my will but Your will be done. I give to You again what is not mine. I am a steward, not owner—a steward who will die soon enough. I echo again the psalmist, ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom’” (Psalm 90:12). And guess what? I’ll have to pray this again tomorrow—actually, again this evening. Surrender is ongoing.
—Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, speaker, founder of Love and Respect Ministries, and author of Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache
I find it hard to surrender to God the things I care about most. Even though I know He is in control and is working things out for His good and His purpose in His timing, I still struggle with letting go, because my heart is so attached. For me, this almost always means trusting the people around me to Him: my children, husband, family, and friends. It is hard to surrender the ending to a story—not knowing how things are going to turn out—and to believe that no matter the outcome, God is weaving His good in the lives of the people I love so dearly. But I have found the act of surrender to be one of the most faith-building gifts we can receive. It’s in those desperate moments when we are forced to lean into Jesus and rely on His protection, provision, and purpose that He meets us face to face. It’s then that we find His goodness sprinkled everywhere. No matter what happens, we come away having touched the face of God and knowing His presence with us as we wait.
—Katie Davis Majors, Founder of Amazima Ministries and author of Kisses From Katie and Daring To Hope
I’m continually surprised by all the ways I cling to my shame. My head knows that my heavenly Father loves and forgives me, but the habits of my heart carry a different story. The old narrative of performance still rumbles around inside me, rearing its ugly head so that I try to earn my Father’s love or live as if I have something to prove. Then the insecurity sets in and spills over into my relationships with others, too. And it’s when I’m trying to prove myself to them that I’m most susceptible to pride. Thankfully, God’s grace and mercy don’t depend on my understanding or comprehension. He loves me even when I’m worried He doesn’t, and His Spirit is at work in me—not only to change my mind but also to recalibrate those habits by inscribing a different story in my heart. I’m a slow learner, but He is a patient Father.
—James K. A. Smith, Professor of philosophy at Calvin College and the author of You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
My kids. Period. Even though God is the one who gave them to me, I find it terrifying some days to trust them back to Him. But upward and forward and deeper into the heart of God I go with each new life He entrusts me with. And I am vulnerable to a vast army of fears, for to parent is to ache over the unknown. There are no guarantees except one: that God has loved and will keep loving my kids longer and better than I ever will. Also, His love is not limited or defined by circumstances—no matter how dark they might be. So I am learning to slowly unclench my worried fists and instead raise my open hands in praise and wild, crazy thanks for these totally undeserved and priceless gifts.
—Lisa-Jo Baker is the author of Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships
Illustration by Greg Coulton