Surrender

Each year, I am mesmerized as I watch the vibrantly colored leaves flutter from the treetops to the ground. As I continue to declutter my home, I thought about how the trees declutter each year as well.

Leaves have a purpose; they have value to the tree. Their function is to turn sunlight into food, to provide nourishment for the tree, but when the job is complete, the tree surrenders its leaves, making room for new ones. By refusing to release its grip on something that no longer served it, the tree would eventually starve and die, forfeiting its purpose.

I pondered this, asking, “What am I holding on to that is starving me?”

It’s been relatively easy for me to let go of physical possessions. There are still things I could let go of, but I’m pretty much down to the bare bones. However, when I pondered the question about holding on, I thought of some things that could potentially starve my soul. 

This year, two books and one song came together in my life all at once, creating the perfect storm. They have stirred up something deep inside me that has me longing to surrender more. I hope sharing this might keep me accountable, so I don’t stay stuck and continue living with a tight grip on things that keep me from God’s goodness. 

In Biblical Minimalism, Cheryl Smith asks, “What if, because of worldly pursuits, we don’t allow enough time to fulfill the mission God placed us on earth to fulfill? What if we live our lives in pursuit of earthly goods, and one day we wake up to realize we have run out of time.” 

In, Dangerous Prayers, Craig Groeschel challenges readers to stretch their faith, expand their hearts, and open their lives to God by praying three dangerous prayers: SEARCH ME, BREAK ME, SEND ME.

He states, “Jesus isn’t inviting us to a life of comfort and ease, but one of surrender and sacrifice” and asks, “What are we losing by clinging to our comfort? What are we missing out on because we’re so committed to avoiding pain and discomfort.” He adds, “It’s in the giving of our lives that we find true joy.”

In Matthew 16, Jesus tells his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” He asks them, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

Daniel and Kylie McLendon‘s song All I Am seems to sum it all up. 

The song begins with words describing the anxiety I feel as I consider praying dangerous prayers and surrendering.

“I am shaking.

Lord, I’m trembling.

Unsure if I can give You all I am.

I am fearful of today and tomorrow.”

It goes on to address earthly possessions and letting them go.

“There is no treasure greater than the treasure I’ve found in You.

No earthly possession could take the place of You.

So I’ll throw away the idols, let them burn in the fire of Your truth.

Cause it’s You alone, I worship.

Let my life reflect the praises You’re due.”

Then comes the dangerous prayer.

“All I am, in Your hands, God, I commit.

Take everything; You can have all of it.”

It’s a lot for my weak human flesh to take in. 

This year has caused us all to surrender many things, and if you are like me, you want it all back. However, this year has also given us time for stillness and reflection, time to rethink, and reboot.

So here is what I am thinking……

What if I surrendered stuff I can’t put in a box and donate?

What if I surrendered

my plans,

my habits,

my comfort,

my expectations,

my judgments,

my control,

my way.

What if I told God, “Take everything, you can have all of it?”

So with trepidation and anticipation, as the new year begins I embark on a journey of simplicity and surrender. I don’t know what it will look like or how deep God will ask me to go. I don’t have any of the answers and truthfully, I don’t even know what questions to ask. However, I know I have to start somewhere and here and now seems as good a time as any. So I am taking at least one step forward by publishing this post. Then I’ll work on taking another.

What are you willing to surrender in 2021? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Send me an email: hello@lorisanders.com or message me on social media: Facebook and Instagram.

To find out where this journey leads me and find out more about simple living and surrender, sign up to be notified when new blog posts are published at www.lorisanders.com. 

Until next time, be well.

Lori

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Here are the full lyrics to Daniel and Kylie’s song, All I Am. It’s way better if you listen as you read! Click here to listen. 

All I Am by Daniel and Kylie McLendon (Lyrics copied with permission)

I am shaking

Lord, I’m trembling

Unsure if I can give You all I am

I am fearful

Of today and tomorrow

But by the power of Your Spirit, I will stand

And face the doubts in my heart, deep within

And face my love for this world, and surrender it

All I am, in Your hands God I commit

Take everything, You can have all of it

Complete surrender

To the Father

Use me, Lord, to make a new tomorrow

Not by my own strength

But Your power in me

I stand in freedom

And face the doubts in my heart, deep within

And face my love for this world, and surrender it

All I am, in Your hands God I commit

Take everything, You can have all of it

There is no treasure greater

Than the treasure I’ve found in You

No earthly possession

Could take the place of You

So I’ll throw away the idols

Let them burn in the fire of Your truth

Cause it’s You alone I worship

Let my life reflect the praises You’re due

All I am, in Your hands God I commit

Take everything, You can have all of it

All I am, in Your hands God I commit

Take everything, You can have all of it

Take everything, You can have all of it

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