I’ve named 2013 A Year of Surrender. Choosing the ways of God, more than my own. Choosing less in the flesh, and more in the Spirit. Moving away from instinct, and toward discerned living. I want to learn how to surrender to love. For my husband, for my children, for those who have not. I want to learn how to submit to the needs of others. To a future that I cannot anticipate. To the hope that in all things God intends to make me more like him.
Surrender is not something I’m good at. It’s not something my country is good at. I’ve been taught to fight. To arm myself. To be strong. To take defense. To be powerful and independent. Yet I look to the life of Christ – the one I desire most to be like – and his life was one of surrender. Yielding to a Father who sent him. To a people in need of him. To a cross that held him.
My word for the year births from my acute awareness that my stubborn flesh wins out time and time again. But it’s also influenced by the recent chatter about crime and guns. So many voices loudly protecting their right of defense. People desiring more guns, particular guns, just in case they become harder to acquire. And I stand here with greater conviction that what we need more than anything is NOT increased protection, but greater surrender. Not to the evil acts that threaten. But to a God who promises hope. Who offers a redemptive reality. What we need is NOT a false sense of security in manmade weapons, but a confidence in the God who created us, and his truth that assurance in heaven doesn’t come through earthly powers but through relational surrender.
It’s humbly, this arms raised, palms out posture to life. No wonder we’re not good at it. No wonder we choose the opposite. No wonder we grab our weapons. For we’d rather feel powerful than weak. We’d rather stand high, than kneel low. We’d rather defend our fleeting earthly freedoms, than proclaim what is true and eternal in the Spirit. We’d rather be the hero saving, than the victim being saved.
And yet…no wonder God calls us to a life marked by surrender. Because when we humble ourselves before him and others, we open our entire being – body, mind and soul — to his shaping work that creates us new. And isn’t this what he truly wants for us? Isn’t it what we truly want? To be made new in him?
So this year I will be attempting to disarm myself. Of me. Of my instincts to act in the flesh. Of the weapons of protection I’ve mastered throughout my years. Pride. Defense. Anger. Stubbornness. In hopes that my heart softens in the hands of my Maker. In hopes that in my weakness, He is made strong. In hopes that the fruit of the surrendered life is intimacy with God and others, freedom in both my flesh and spirit, and assurance in my salvation through Christ.