“Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
Challenge Take some time to be honest before the LORD and tell him what it is that you don’t want to surrender.
In the Garden Jesus knew what God the Father was asking of him…of what He was asking of Himself, really. He knew, being fully human what physical and emotional pain he must endure. He also knew he would need to experience what it would be to be separated from His Father. Interestingly, exactly the position of fallen mankind – he would have to go there. It is no wonder the struggle was so real He actually sweated blood.
Some days what we might call “surrender” is not that tough. Someone needs something we own, our heart is open, we give knowing it pleases God and in some way will further his kingdom. Maybe we will even have to “do without” but it only takes seconds to decide – we are joyful to hand it over. In fact, many things that would seem to others as some big surrender are actually things where God has changed our thinking and drawn us toward.
Some days I am called to “surrender” what I prefer not. It could be a tangible thing but more often it is something in me – my attitude, my anger, my control, my fear, my viewpoint, my way, my sin. Change is not easy or pleasant and certainly is never just a onetime thing. This is the exchange – bit by bit letting go of the old and being transformed into the image of Christ.
The general and vast prayer of surrendering all that I am to God is a worthy concept but for many it is the equivalent of jumping off a cliff into the abyss. The problem, I think, is the unknown.
A better prayer for me is the known.
Father, thank you for your promise that the work you have begun in me will be brought to completion. I can in no way fail because it is not me who must accomplish the work. You are diligently transforming me into the image of your Son. Help me to embrace the daily bits and repetitions of surrender that will do this work in me. And allow me to revel in the changes you make that I joyfully notice but never struggled to gain. Amen.