Friday, January 02, 2015

Surrender of the Will

"'My determination is to be my utmost for His Highest.' To get there is a question of will, not of debate nor of reasoning, but a surrender of will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender on that point" (January 1, Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

Yesterday's reading set the tone of this lovely daily devotion book. It also spoke to this rather broken heart of mine. The "surrender of will" is such a difficult thing to do. We are taught from earliest education to strive, to succeed, to think on our own. Then we come to the teaching of scripture and the apostle Paul tells us to surrender with complete abandonment to God. Surrendering to God can become an insurmountable task for those of us who have struggled. Trusting God is a difficult occupation when parents, family and people claiming to know Christ have wounded one deeply.

Much of our understanding for God develops from the people we come in contact with that claim to know Him. When these people prove to be impostors, those blasted wolves in sheep's clothing, they damage the entire body of Christ. In order for us to understand the intended relationship with God, He is often portrayed as Father. Yet, when one's earthly father has failed miserably in his duty and love as a father, this analogy is hard to understand, let alone accept.

This is the situation with which I battle. I have often felt like I was peering into the window of a neighbor's home where the father and mother truly love their children. Therefore, I have often described my relationship with God as His forgotten stepchild. Not as one who is truly His daughter or the recipient of His selfless love, but close enough to see a father's love poured out on His true children. Trusting God with my will is a challenge for me on occasions since I have rarely felt invited to the inner circle of His home and hearth.  When those who should have cherished you such as one’s parents, grandparents and sisters, have damaged your heart the picture of God as Father and Christ as Brother can be rather offensive and hurtful.

Yet, I long to have a Father who loves me and embraces me with the gentleness of a sweet summer's eve. I desire to lazily sit on the porch swing with Him and hear His direction and know that His advice comes to me because I am His beloved daughter and not an unwanted stepchild.

My heart's cry this year is to keep myself above the trappings and the pain of this world. I intend to trust God as Holy and Loving. To be an ambassador for Christ that draws people to Him and to not act as a repellant is my deep desire. Like Paul, I do not want to ever be ashamed but to continue to submit my stubborn will to Christ's will. True examples of this totality of God-living are hard to find in this world. My prayer is that I can be one of His children choosing to live my life with no thought of my will but only of His with a compete trust in Him.

I want to end my ramblings with a quote from Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) who explained complete trust with the following statement:

"Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life with fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God to whom you belong will in his love enable you to profit by them... Be at peace then, and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads and all anxious imaginations."

Be Blessed,

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