Once upon a time there was a girl. Her brother was good at math. He was strong and fast. She was the youngest in her class. She wasn’t the tallest. She was shy. She was happy and confident in who she was, but she certainly wasn’t the best at much. But, she was okay with this. She didn’t rely on herself. God was her Father, her King, the One who always carried her. He’d never let her fall, and she knew His arms were strong enough no matter how big she got. Therefore, it was natural that when she got sick, really sick, she simply snuggled closer in her Father’s arms. She was sick for a really long time. Her Father brought her through it all, though, and she began to get better. The sickness has changed her, and to some degree, strengthened her. You can’t use a muscle constantly and not get stronger, after all! She began to venture back out into the world, and found her newfound strength to be helpful. She began reaching out farther and farther from her Father’s arms. She still spent all her time with Him, but more and more often got down to try and walk by herself… Uh oh.
Who has struggles? Raise your hand. Yup, me too. They’re inevitable! I don’t know what yours is specifically, or even if you have more than one rearing it’s impossibly overwhelming head in front of you. You thought you could handle it- the temptation, the project, or the obstacles. But now you find yourself trapped, confused, and overwhelmed. Things are not going according to plan, and now you just want to run back to the arms you never should have left. You’d have to admit you were wrong, though… and that you actually can’t handle things by yourself. Oh, why is humility so hard for humanity? Even though humility is hard, I must testify that it is worth it.
You guessed it. I am the girl in the story. I foolishly tried to do projects, to build friendships, to face certain things without surrendering them to God. I thought I was perfectly capable of these little things. I mean, duh, I’d give God the big things, but surely I could take care of these little things! That isn’t exactly how it played out in my mind, of course…I didn’t really realize what I was doing. But as my dad says, “Maturity is being aware.”
So what does it mean to ‘surrender our struggles’?
Through personal experience, when I was in that place…surrounded, lost, and unsure…I found such peace and relief in this concept of ‘surrendering our struggles.’
When God brought to my attention what I had been doing in my pride by trusting in my own abilities, I repented. And He welcomed me back to His arms. He enabled me to surrender my struggles to Him…to let go of the thought that I could handle things on my own…to trust Him again with all my life, even the little things. And guess what? I found that God was pleased with it! Yeah, who would have guessed? (That was sarcastic ;)). What I mean is that God wants to hold our struggles for us. He doesn’t want us to have to shoulder burdens we can’t handle, burdens that just leave us stuck and even headed off in the wrong direction. Will we give our struggles to God as a pleasing sacrifice and offering to Him?
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17 (NIV)
Are we willing to make that sacrifice? That’s a no brainer! Yes, leaving God in control is scary. It’s crazy. But is it? Is it so bad? Let me assure you: it’s so worth it!
Joyfully in Christ,