Raw Reflections from the Journey

Monday, July 12, 2010

Absolute Surrender...the key to lasting peace

Today began peacefully, but now I'm stressed and brokenhearted. Uncertainty about the fruition of hope for future provisions for our own family and the restoration of a couple's marriage; these are the sources of my distress. But, I know the anti-dote, and I've already begun to apply it...absolute surrender to the plans and purposes of God.

They say with age comes wisdom...at least the possibility of wisdom through learning. What I continue to learn is that I have very little control. My attitude is ultimately all I can control, but even that isn't said accurately. Actually, surrender of my attitude, perspective, desires, etc. and ongoing humble requests for Jesus to help me (to carry the load, to point the way, to apply the balm of his peace to my hurting heart) is all that I can do.

Time after time, God provides opportunities for me to open my hands to hand back to Him that which I want to count on...(i.e. procurement of a nice home for my family, "successful healing" of a crisis marriage), and time after time I get to remember that "neither he who plants or he who waters is anything...but God who makes it grow", and that "man can make his plans, but God orders his steps".

I found myself penning these words this morning in an email. "This is our hope and desire _________________, but if for any reason it doesn't work out, there will be no hard feelings. We will simply accept that God has something different for us." Are those just cliche words with which I attempt to pacify myself, or do I really mean them?

Looking back, I can see the good that He had in mind through many circumstances that didn't make sense at the time. Not that all disappointments of the past now make sense...some don't, but I'm confident that one day they will. For now we see, "through a glass dimly lit".

One of the greatest realities is that none of us know about tomorrow. We can simply embrace today...every moment, conversation, conscious thought and consecrate to His purposes. "Father, your ways our higher than our ways...your thoughts higher than ours". Just as Jesus, I will let you know what I want, and then surrender and submit the results to you. "Father, if there would be any other way but for me to drink this cup...but not my will; thine be done."

If I have nothing else...not the creature comforts I want...not the results of healed and restored marriages and families that I long for...I have Him. And He's enough. For some of us it takes having nothing else, or having hope interminably deferred to get that point. And so I give thanks for the lengths to which He has gone to give me Himself. If He gives more than that it's icing on the cake, not the sustenance I/we actually need. He is the all in all.

And so, it can be well with my soul.

On the daily journey, Jeff