Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Surrender: Part 1

"It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever." - Psalm 136:23

A few posts back I mentioned how I've been asked to write on surrender to God.  I'm afraid I don't know much about it.  My initial response was to write a snarky post, full of my usual critical and sarcastic approach, but this is my first attempt at processing what God-induced surrender is really about.

(There's a little irony here as I write, as I've snuck away from our Campus Crusade for Christ day of prayer, and am sitting in Dunkin' Donuts.  I'm a little like Jonah, but perhaps like Jesus, I'm not sure.  I know I need to get away from the crowd a lot, its the way I'm made.  I just hope I don't get caught.)

In Godly surrender, I believe the first thing to recognize is the one who brings about surrender in our hearts.  Oddly, when I think about surrender, I think about examining my heart, searching my heart, repenting, seeking my first love and a lot of other spiritual mumbo-jumbo.  I don't think any of this is wrong, I just think it comes in the wrong order and something profound is lost.  Namely there's a huge army that I need to surrender to, so its not a good idea to take time self-reflecting.

In fact for me, Christian surrender often only comes about when I have exhausted every other opportunity, every strategy, every whim and idol I can think of.  I've lobbed every grenade, am down to my last clip and have long since lost my buddies.  I am sitting in a ditch I've dug out against God.  And finally I peek my head over the top, cringe through the smoke, toss my last dog-eared cigarette (in my rebellion I've definitely taken up smoking) and wave my homemade flag of surrender which consists of my boxers tied to my rifle.  Hey war ain't pretty.

As I paint this image in my head, I'm realizing the reality and futility of war I wage on God.  I wage it.  I lose it.  Every time.

And as a Christian, its a truly amazing grace that I lose.  Losing is the beginning of winning.  Losing is the beginning of living.

So hear ends part one on my ramblings about surrender:  God sees me in my ditch, my low estate, and lifts me out again, yet again, because of his steadfast love which endures forever.