Transformation happens on the other side of surrender.
In the last seven months, I have moved away from friends and family and anything that I might consider my “comfort zone” in order to have a job that I love. While there have been so many blessings and wonderful things throughout this season, there have also been some really hard times and tough lessons that I have had to learn.
There were many times (and to be honest, still are) that I found myself striving to find my place. I often feel as if I am constantly trying to prove myself and explain myself. It is hard being in a place where there are so many people who don’t know you. In my flesh I would find myself STRIVING to make friends as fast as possible, to make a good impression at work, and to fit into a new environment with new rules. Striving can be EXHAUSTING! One thing I really feel like the Lord has been teaching me is how to surrender all of my circumstances to Him.
I think one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn (and still am learning) is the difference between STRIVING and SURRENDER.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God…”
Psalm 37:7 says, “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…”
TO STRIVE: 1. To exert much effort or energy; endeavor. 2. To struggle or fight forcefully; contend: strive against injustice.
TO SURRENDER: 1. Agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc. because you know that you will not win or succeed. 2.Give the control or use of (something) to someone else.
As a “Type A” personality, I am naturally driven, competitive, and strong-willed. (I can already picture my mom laughing and nodding her head as she reads this). Because of my personality, I typically want to do things my way and I don’t want other people telling me what to do. However, when I surrender to the Lord and place myself under His guidance, my life and heart can be transformed into being more like Him.
2 Timothy 2:24 says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient…”
Whenever we encounter difficulties in life, the temptation to strive and lean on our own understanding is often very strong. However, I think it is so vital that we act opposite of our nature and how we feel, and release whatever circumstance we are facing into the hands of the Lord. Then take a step back and rely on Him to guide us in the resolution of the matter. It requires a great deal of patience and complete surrender to the Lord. SURRENDER — So hard to do! But when we do it, there is freedom! God shows up and provides exactly what we need. As a follower of Christ, I am giving up my own will and surrendering my thoughts, ideas, and actions to the will of the Father. It’s a “dying to self” to allow Christ to live through me. My prayer for myself and for you is that we would not live a life of striving, but one of SURRENDER!