Are You Ready to Surrender?
We dream that in a moment of dramatic testing, we’d be the one to take the bullet. To make the sacrifice. To surrender ourselves to save others.
Yet we get angry if someone squeezes in front of us in traffic?
Sometimes the small tugs of war are the important ones. It’s the little things that more often test our resolve to die to self and live for Christ.
How did Jesus do it? How did he turn himself inside out, lay aside all the privileges of royalty, and live in our kind of skin instead (Philippians 2:6-7)?
Jesus surrendered to the Father in the moment. Each moment.
But that was Jesus. We’re not like him. How can we ordinary people exercise the discipline of surrender in our ordinary, daily moments of life?
This is how: Because even though we’re not God, we’re made in his image. And we’re filled with his Spirit. That’s a strong identity. That’s a lot of power.
By taking one moment at a time, we too can learn the art of surrender.
Our grand moment of surrender is always this one.
5 Little Things to Give Up in the Moment
Here are 5 little things we can practice giving up, anytime, anywhere, to gain the gifts of surrendering to the moment.
1. GIVE UP THE LAST WORD
In that discussion with your partner, eliminate a few of your own words and listen to more of theirs. Surrendering the desire to be understood and to get in the last word can make a joyful difference in the climate of your home. Marvel at the self-control Jesus used to keep quiet when necessary (Mark 15:3-5).
2. GIVE UP YOUR PLACE IN LINE
That harried mom with the whiny toddler? Let her cut in line at the grocery store. Or make room for that speeding maniac to merge in front of you in traffic. By surrendering your place in line—literally and figuratively—you practice putting others before yourself. Releasing the need to be first is an act of freedom (Galatians 5:13).
3. GIVE UP THE CLEAR ANSWER
Sometimes we hesitate and wait for overwhelming confirmation before we’ll step out in faith. But rarely will you have total clarity in the moment. Peter didn’t have time to analyze the water temperature and buoyancy levels before he walked on the water to Jesus (Matthew 14:29). Surrender your desire for perfect vision and trust God’s grace in the moment.
4. GIVE UP DOING IT ALONE
Winning the prize for “Miss Independent” isn’t a trophy you want. Practice humility by accepting help from others. Exercise selflessness by giving help to others. Even Jesus did nothing by Himself (John 5:19). Moments with others are valuable for joy.
5. GIVE UP A SPECIFIC OUTCOME
It’s easier to surrender to the moment if you can let go of the future. Instead of insisting on a specific outcome, be open to the uncertainty of the future. You can’t control it anyway. Remember that God will still be with you once you arrive in the future, too. Staying present in this moment is enough for now (Matthew 6:34).
Little Moments Are Big Moments
Maybe the little things are big things after all.
When we surrender to the moment, being aware of Jesus with us right now, we gain peace in the process. That’s huge.
Maybe these little moments, even this very moment, really are the biggest moments of all.
What “little things” are hard for you to surrender on a daily basis? What helps you give them up?
- What Are Middles For?
This moment is never a throw-away. Middles aren’t meant to be wasted. Middles are meant to be lived.
- Be Today Who You Want to Be Forever
We have a long time ahead to live with ourselves. Start getting it together now.
- Frame the Moment to Last
These teen girls had marked time with impermanence and uncertainty. But framed properly, a single day can last a long time.
revised from the archives
- I Don’t Want to Remember. But I Can’t Forget.
- When History Makes You Sick