There is beauty in surrender.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
If you give your life, you will ultimately save it.
Do you really find yourself believing these, and similar, statements? It is so much easier to take, to be selfish, to want MORE, to expect God to be like a genie who grants every wish, right now.
The last few days have been eye-opening, heart-changing; God is changing my heart and vision for the future. As I pursue this “calling” to go serve in Ecuador, He is also showing me what I am called to every day, every moment, as a follower of his Son, Jesus Christ. A song called “Unashamed Love” bids us to do something even more profound:
“You’re calling me to lay aside the worries of my day
To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place
Worthy, You are worthy
I open up my heart and let my spirit worship yours”
Wow. How many of us are able to do this, and on a daily basis? The opposite of worrying is to not worry, to TRUST. It is to surrender our cares, worries, doubts, and fears at the foot of the cross; it is to believe that, as we seek Him, He will take care of us.
“Pour Out” by Shawn Mcdonald says:
“Pour out your mercy and clear this busy mind
Your love is like Eden
A slice of apple pie…
You are all I need.”
Christ’s will is that our minds be free of the worries of the world. His love is sweet and feeds our deepest wants. People always say that there are so many “don’ts” in the Christian life; but do they suggest that you must still fill up your life with something else? He wants to fill the cracks and bring nourishment and make healthy every aspect. Philippians 4:8 says:
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Life is full of options, full of things to do, to see, to hear, to talk about, to be entertained, to be with people, to be alone; there are always options. Life is a journey, full of all kinds of different people (makes life interesting!), and God has put people in our lives to love and encourage us, but also to test us, to teach us the things we pray for (like patience and tolerance. Ha!). Entering into a personal relationship with the Lord is THE best decision we can make, but it cannot stop there! He also leads us and urges us to share life, to share the story of our NEW lives He transforms us into, with others!
“Beautiful Things” by Gungor says:
“Out of chaos life is being found in You..
You make beautiful things out of us.”
How amazing is it that out of CHAOS, God can bring good things?! No matter who we are, no matter our background, relationship status, the regrets we have, failures, sorrows, and what we face in this very moment, God is still right here; He’s right there with you. He wants to make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).
“Where We Belong” by Hillsong says:
“Casting all else aside for the joy of our Christ
Let Your glory fall
Our hearts are filled with Your fire.”
Even in these lyrics there is the expression that we must empty ourselves in order for Him to fill us! And there is nothing we could lose or give that compares to this love and glory from the Lord. This is many times such a difficult lesson to learn in this life, as we lose loved ones to miscarriages, old age, car accidents, cancer, and/or broken relationships. But even in the midst of this, He never leaves nor forsakes us.
God is showing me a bigger picture. Every day of our lives He longs for us to have a relationship with Him. He wants to save us from the evil of this world. Another of my favorite songs has always been “Be Thou my Vision.” It is asking “Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart (our eyes must always look to Him)…Thou my delight (Psalm 37:4 says to delight in Him and He will give us the desires of our heart!)…Thou and Thou only, first in my heart (for anything to be first, we must put other things behind it; we must SURRENDER. Matthew 6:33 says to seek Him first and all else will then be given to us). There are always things that distract us and keep us from God’s best for our lives. He sent the Holy Spirit to convict us and let us know when something is not right. The question is, are we listening/heeding this?
I believe that each of us connects to God in different ways. Being an extremely sensitive and emotional person, music has ALWAYS spoken volumes to me. It moves me to tears, to action; it inspires me to write, to encourage others; it makes me want to give my whole life to serving the Lord, to worship Him with my all, to surrender. God’s love compels us to love and to be a living example of the Gospel to those around us.
There’s this awesome song by Group 1 Crew that says:
“His kind of love is reckless for us
His kind of love will never give up
Till the whole world knows how far He went to show
His kind of love!”
Do we have that kind of love for each other? Have we even been able to accept it from Him? I’m going to Ecuador because I want to share with them there what He has shown me. Life is about living out the purpose He has given each of us. What is your purpose? And the sharing doesn’t start on foreign soil; it starts here; it started years when a person said “YES!” to Him. I’m excited to be a part of God’s great plan!