In Others’ Words: Victory by Surrender

surrender quote 2014


All in favor of determination, raise your hands.

And how about trying harder?

Anybody else out there ever gritted their teeth to help them get through something?

Determination, trying harder, gritting our teeth . . . they’re all good things . . .

. . .  except when all our determining and trying and gritting our teeth turn into stubbornness.

. . .  except when God is sayiing “Stop trying so hard. Stop trying to figure out how to make something happen. Look and see what I’m trying to accomplish here and now — in you.”

. . . except when we’re so determined to hold our ground  we’re missing the chance to walk into freedom.

We’ve been raised in a culture where surrender is a bad, bad thing. Waving the white flag is for losers– and no one wants to be a loser, right?

This is when we have to remember that God’s ways are not our ways, is thoughts are not our thoughts … and be willing to do things his way. (Isaiah 55:8)

In Your Words: When has surrender meant freedom for you?

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  1. June 2, 2014, 7:16 am   /  Reply

    “Stop trying to figure out how to make something happen. Look and see what I’m trying to accomplish here and now — in you.” LOVE!! I’ve had to surrender some in my writing life lately…slow down and accept that a story isn’t going to come together just due to my own determination. It needs divine spark and guidance, for sure. And I love knowing that as God breathes truth into my writing, he’s doing the same thing in my heart.

    • June 2, 2014, 1:53 pm   /  Reply

      So, so true, Melissa.
      Just this morning I walked and talked with God — asking him what he wanted to do in and through my story. I have a plan for it … but I don’t want to miss his plan for it, for me, for my readers.

  2. June 2, 2014, 9:56 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth. Yes, I’ve definitely been one who grits her teeth to get through a difficult passage of life. I’m the one who pressed forward when she should have waited.

    Surrendering to someone requires me to trust that Someone. As I’ve walked with God, I’ve seen that He is indeed trustworthy, and I’m slowly learning to surrender all that I am to Him. It’s not easy, because I’m a “can-do” girl, but there’s more peace in the giving up to Him.

    • June 2, 2014, 1:53 pm   /  Reply

      From one grit-her-teeth-can-do-girl to another: I so understand. And yes, it is about trust. And choosing to trust, again and again and again.

  3. June 2, 2014, 12:59 pm   /  Reply

    Learning to wave the white flag of victory. I love the imagery. After being forced into rest for months by medical issues, I learned more about what’s important in life and have let God handle stuff I couldn’t. It works better that way.

    Now, I’m focusing more on what I think God wants me to focus on. Not all the rabbit trails. It’s freeing to feel like I don’t have to do it all.

    Great post Beth. 🙂

    • June 2, 2014, 1:54 pm   /  Reply

      I’ve been forced into rest more than once in my life.
      I need to take notice of God repeating himself in my life, don’t I?

  4. June 2, 2014, 1:32 pm   /  Reply

    “Surrender was not taught in the Coldstream (Guards), and this is not the time to learn it.” – Maj. H.M “Tim” Sainthill, on being told that the fortress of Tobruk was being surrendered. He subsequently led 200 men in an epic march across the desert to reach British lines.

    One of my wife’s favorite songs is Amy Grant’s “Better Than A Hallelluah” , which implies that God looks favorably on “a dying man giving up the fight”.

    If that’s so, He’ll have a long wait, because I don’t give up, and will resist to the last. It’s a matter of principle, and honor. I’m going out as I lived – and when I get to Heaven they’ll darn well know who’s arrived.

    I know theSinner’s Credo, that we’re in rebellion against God, and so on, but I don’t buy it. I’ve messed up, but I’ve fought hard on God’s side. I’m not going to assume a pose of false humility. What I’ve done, I’ve done. It’ll have to stand, and I’ll answer for that which was wrong.

    No white flag. I hear the first notes of the “Deguello”; roll on the Last Battle. I’m here.

    • June 2, 2014, 7:41 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, Andrew: once again, I waited for your comment today.
      And it was what I expected.
      I know you are not a quitter. I know that … and I would never expect your to be because God wove “fighter” into the core of your being.
      But has he never asked you to surrender … anything?

      • June 2, 2014, 10:19 pm   /  Reply

        There have been times when I wondered…was He asking me to surrender something?

        And somehow, the answer always came up, No. In prayer, I’d ask for a sign, is it time to let it go? Something silly, like…something red, one time.

        And I walked outside, and picked up a piece of trash. It was part of a label for…wait for it…Red Rock Mineral Water.

        It may be that He knows that as an Asian, I fight according to an Eastern code, one which does not expect, or accept quarter.

        There is contentment in that, and a fulfillment of faith.

  5. June 3, 2014, 7:55 am   /  Reply

    Beth, you KNOW this is my life’s & spiritual journey’s motto: Surrender Brings Freedom! It’s one of the many ironies of God! I have too many instances to share and they would take up 12 of your lovely pages. Suffice to say I’ve learned through surrender – which is just about the most difficult thing to ask of a long-term control freak and He knows it – that there is truly freedom on the other side. Relinquishing my unborn daughter to God’s care during a frightening bout with miscarriage, his gentle invitation to “let her go” in a clearly Abraham/Isaac sort of way, let go the grip my dream of a daughter had on my heart, let go my need for this and trust his ways which are higher than mine. It felt like something was ripping from my heart but I said “Yes. She is yours, she is not ours, you do with her as you see best, whether that means you take her now or leave her to our care, she is yours….” I don’t know why he chose to halt the miscarriage that same day, if it was a test, but it was a deep lesson learned in trusting him and not clinging to something harder than I cling to him. Surrender means the freedom to find my source in him, an endless, generous source I will not find anywhere else. And that at times takes continual surrender, laying down my way, my dream, my strength, my striving, my perceived need and trusting he has better. And he always has. Always. This is freedom.

  6. June 3, 2014, 8:00 am   /  Reply

    I used to think surrender was a bad word because I work hard and try to solve problems and meet my own needs. However, those times when I’ve done all, realize I fall short, and He steps in and answers better than I ever could have been some of the most precious times in my life–hopefully teaching me to look to Him and surrender sooner and enjoy the benefits.

  7. June 4, 2014, 11:42 pm   /  Reply

    This post makes me think of what a friend said after she interrupted my anxious babbling, “You don’t have to try so hard.” I bawled. And what another said when we went to dinner, “Figure it out is not a commandment.” I laughed at that one. I appreciate yet another reminder of both. Thanks, Beth.

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