i have heard many sermons with titles in the realms of “rekindle, repent, return” and so forth. my fickle human self often takes my spiritual hearing aids out, throws them on the table, and retreats to a quiet place of reading my Bible during these messages. i shove these sermons aside into a mental box labeled something like “beginner Christian message,” and call it quits — i need something deeper, something more spiritual, something that gets down into the immeasurable extent of grace through a theologically heavy message. thats what will speak to me. my heart needs that… or so i think. i squander. maybe you can relate.
i need Jesus.
stepping into the new semester, i jumped in head first and ran as fast as i could in my vegan chrome doc. martens (ya gurllll!!) i was determined to meet up for coffee with every friend and potential friend, go to every event and birthday party, lead a small group, be a wife, and do whatever else i could to be the most intentional. i was going full steam ahead all day long. packed my schedule back to back like i was the mother of 18 kids and counting. it always seems that it is in these moments, the fast paced, quick moving hours, that Jesus steps right in front of your running sneaks, or in my case boots ;) and humbles you to a stop. as you could imagine, i hit the bottom of my tank. here i was in an all too familiar place, striving out my own might. undoing myself to tie up others.
this was when the word surrender came in. that basic little chant of a word in which i have believed belonged to those new to faith. for the one who has major baggage and sorrow to lay at the feet of Jesus. for the sermon that pastors preach to the masses in hopes of leading the lost Home. here i was, hearing the gentle whisper of God say
it is simple. it is the story of Jesus. it is the act of laying all things out before him and saying,
“here i am Lord, take all of it. do what you want with it. trash the bad, anoint the good. fill me with You alone.”
i often pray over my day, “Lord, use me and let me be your hands and feet today.” this is good. but i think it is time i switch up the words because Jesus is telling me, “Let me be your hands and feet today.” He is up there waiting for us to call on His name so He can empower us through His strength, His patience, and His endurance. we cannot do it alone. we will end up striving and making such great effort, to end up with not even a morsel of what the Holy Spirit could do if He was empowering these hands and feet of ours.
i think it is time to redefine surrender. i’ll just call it “resurrender” and make it a word for myself. i am taking hold of this verb and preaching into myself that laying down what my flesh desires is something i do daily. surrendering is not just for the things i think are big, but the small in between things too. it is saying no to the white knuckled grip i have on the things i want to be in control of. to simply let Jesus. to let Him do all that i can’t. to rest in the peace that His hands are much bigger than mine and are meant to hold the things i cannot carry myself. to really just hold all of it.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
some fun facts:
epididómi is the hebrew word for surrender. epididómi is translated and defined as “to hand in, give up.” in translation epididómi is used as “I give way to the wind.” the holy spirit is often defined and referenced as the wind. funny how these goofy hebrew words can trace back to a powerful intent that God laid out for us in the Bible. we give way and yield to the Holy Spirit so He can take control.