This is a prayer by author Richard Rohr that speaks surrender to me.
I thank you, Lord Jesus, for becoming a human being
so I do not have to pretend or try to be a god.
I thank you, Lord Jesus, for becoming finite and limited
so I do not have to pretend that I am infinite and limitless.
I thank you, crucified God, for becoming mortal
so I do not have to try to make myself immortal.
I thank you, Lord Jesus for becoming inferior
so I do not have to pretend that I am superior to anyone…
I thank you for becoming weak,
so I don’t have to be strong.
I thank you for being willing to be considered imperfect and strange,
so I do not have to be perfect and normal.
I thank you, Lord Jesus, for being willing to be disapproved of,
so I do not have to try so hard to be approved and liked.
I thank you for being considered a failure,
so I do not have to give my life trying to pretend I’m a success.
I thank you for being wrong by the standards of religion and state,
so I do not have to be right anywhere.
I thank you for being poor in every way,
so I do not have to be rich in any way.
I thank you, Lord Jesus, for being all of the things humanity despises
and fears, so I can accept myself and others in you.
Rohr says we can be thankful for God’s call for us “to die” to the manipulative and controlling ways of the world in order to embrace the crucified way of Jesus. Why? Because it is the pathway of Jesus to a life of power and resurrection.
I have learned that surrender is a journey that I will be on for the remainder of my time here on earth. It is a lifestyle of choice in which the Lord gives me opportunities almost daily. I fail a lot but I see my choice.
My surrender journey started out at Mid-Valley Fellowship with their surrender service that happens once a year at their annual retreat. It was there that the Lord told me He wanted all of me, even though I didn’t really understand what that meant. (And I do not fully comprehend even today – 5 years later). But I obeyed as much as I could comprehend. A year later while still at MVF He told me to surrender a deep dark secret I had kept in the dark for 40+ years: the 2 abortions I had earlier in my life. That was hard. I had to confess it to my grown son and daughter and also with a friend from church who did counseling at a pro-life pregnancy center of which we supported at our church and in our family. I felt like a hypocrite. I was ashamed. It was hard. It was so worth it though. Today I am free from the dark secret that had lived inside me for so many years, and I am forgiven.
Over the past year God has shown me other things I need to surrender: character defects, negative thinking, relationships, and daily circumstances and situations I find myself in, and my sin. He shows me that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing. And that when I surrender it to Him, He comes in with His power. The effectual working of God’s power is a by-product of my surrender to Him. No surrender = no power. Little surrender = little power and wholly surrendered = His full power. When I surrender to Him it gives Him the opportunity to work. God’s power works best in our weakness and it brings Him the glory. My favorite verse:
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably
more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us.
To Him be glory in the church and in
Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen.