I was sitting here thinking about all the wonderful things that God has done in my life. There have been so many painful situations that he has brought me thorough, so many times when I didn't have answers and he helped me through things. I'm sure that despite tragedies that have happened, things that made you cry, or get angry, you can still look back and see some amazing things that God has done in your life, even in waking you up to see another day. As I look back and meditate on the things that God has brought me through, I can also see times when I didn't really give the problem to God. Instead, I tried to fix it myself, only making matters worse, until God stepped in and said, "Let me handle this."
In life there are many things that we try to fix. I think about Sarah and how she tried to fix her situation of not bearing any children. Only to find herself in agony over the actions and attitudes of her handmaid Hagar. She had given Hagar to her husband Abraham in order to bear children. Ultimately God had a different plan and Sarah had ended up having a child of her own. When this happened, she saw that her handmaid despised her, and Sarah treated her harshly. If only Sarah would have waited, she would have realized what took her years, trying to conceive, only took God seconds, when we spoke his word, "Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed (Gen 17:19)." Then, I think about Rebecca the wife of Isaac and how because of favoritism she took it upon herself to "make God's plan happen." She devised a plan of trickery so that their youngest son Jacob could receive the blessing from his Father (Gen. 27:6-38). All of this only to lead to division and discord amongst the family. Then, I think about us. How have we "tried to help God out," only to end up with a mess on our hands? More problems, more insecurities, more issues.
If only we could wait on God and trust that his promises would happen without our help. That things would fall into place by us just trusting him, walking with him, and seeking him. What would it look like to just surrender? To let go of the hard work of pursuing and to just surrender to God. Life would be so much easier, and we would have less headaches. But... we all know that surrendering is easier said than done.
Sometimes we don't have all the answers to every why, how, what, or where question. Why is this happening? How do I get through this? What can I do? Where do we go from here? Sometimes it just takes surrendering. If you notice, most of the time, it's when you say, "I give up, " that God shows up. I mean we often laugh about it, and we say to ourselves, "God you really have a sense of humor." But maybe, just maybe, God was saying, "Look, I was just waiting for you to give up and give it to me."
Maybe the key to having peace and getting through tough stuff, is to just give up earlier. Usually, we exhaust our options and then surrender when there is nothing else we can do about it. Yes, you surrender, but it isn't a peaceful surrender. This is more like a white flag, raised and waive, after you realize you are going to lose this war. Bloody and bruised we come to God. Giving up says "Well God this is a lost cause," and God says, "Well, let me show you that it's not." Surrendering is taking our issues to God at the onset of the problem rather than waiting until we get to the point where we feel it's the end. Surrendering is raising the white flag even before the battle begins, when your mind, body, and spirit are in tact. This is where we say, "God, it's in your hands."
And God's Word speaks back to us...
"Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17 KJV)