The Bible tells us God has a plan for our lives that surpasses anything we could come up with on our own.* The catch is that we must surrender, as in give up, our plans in order to accept and receive what he wants to give. This surrender doesn’t always look like trading up. Our own plans and ambitions aren’t necessarily wrong. They just aren’t always God’s plan, a plan that requires humility and thoughtful obedience.
Moses’s mother surrendered her infant son to the Nile. Abraham surrendered his son to God,** a son God had promised to give him. And now, God wanted him to take that son, travel up a mountain, build an altar, prepare a fire, and kill his precious son. We aren’t talking about an infant here. Isaac was old enough to carry the wood for burning the sacrifice and smart enough, in an area where sacrificing children was common, to wonder what was in the offing for him, personally. How could God be asking that of Abraham? And yet, that was precisely what God asked him to do. What would have happened if Abraham had said, “No way,” or “I won’t.” Did Abraham wonder if he’d misunderstand what God wanted? Through his obedience, God gave back Isaac. The son Abraham almost lost was returned, alive. The Bible speaks of the God of Abraham, but the Fear of Isaac.
Jesus modeled the ‘how to’ of surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane. According to Luke, Jesus was in anguish and his sweat was like drops of blood as he prayed for God’s will, not his own to be done. (Luke 22:39-45). Even Jesus found surrender difficult. Why should I be surprised that surrendering my will, my plan is difficult? Make that impossible. We need God’s help. All things are possible with Him. According to the Bible’s instructions, we need to surrender to God’s will every day. In the Bible, every record of surrender resulted in blessing. What greater blessing could there be than the resurrection?
Have a blessed day contemplating the sacrifices you’ve made in your life and the blessings that came from the ashes of surrendered dreams.
*Bible references: Many passages support the premise of surrender: The books of Exodus, Esther, Jonah, and Paul’s story (Acts 26:9-23).
**Genesis 22: 2-18