Monday, December 17, 2018

Blessed Surrender!

Dear Friends,

Instead of saying “Merry Christmas” we should perhaps say “Blessed Surrender.” Oh I love the twinkling lights, the sparkling trees, snow swirling around street lights. But in the midst of it all, it’s easy to forget the baby in the manger. And it’s easy to forget the message of the manger: Surrender! Mary got it. Joseph got it. Do we get it?

When the angel told Mary she would conceive and give birth to a son, she said, “I am the Lord’s servant.” When the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take his Mary, his betrothed, as his wife, he did. Both of them surrendered to God’s will—at great personal cost and embarrassment—and Jesus was born.

In a Christmas message, Dr. David Jeremiah talked about how both Mary and Joseph bowed to the will of God. He said too often we pray “my will be done” instead of “thy will be done.”

That is so true. I come to God with a grocery list of wants---wants that go beyond needs. Because after all, I have most everything I need. But I want health and healing for my loved ones. I want to live in safety and comfort. I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . .

What if my prayers focused more on God’s will rather than mine? Would that change how I pray? I’ve written “Thy will be done” at the top of my prayer list. That will remind me to pray:

1.    For God to heal spiritually as well as physically. After all, physical healing is important only in this world; spiritual healing blesses for eternity.
2.    For God to direct my paths rather than tell Him where I want to go.
3.     For God to change someone to what He wants them to be rather than into my image for them.
4.    For God to use me in any way He chooses—sick or well, successful or not, comfortable or uncomfortable—I am His.
5.    For God’s will to be done in the lives of (not just the work of) missionaries. They experience the same hassles and nitty-gritty family life we do. They face the same temptations.
6.    For God’s will to play out on the international scene, not just in my corner of the world, so that peace on earth becomes a reality.

Surrender. Just three syllables. So easy to say. So hard to do. But if we surrender, the carols hold more meaning. They put the emphasis back on the gift of Christ, rather than the gifts we give and get. They remind us that Christ overcame death so that we may live in eternal, not just earthly, comfort. They remind us that Christ gave Himself for others, and so should we.

"Prayer is surrender--surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to do my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God." E Stanley Jones (

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Ponder today the words of the carols: O come all you faithful . . . (sing) joy to the world . . . (as you consider) . . . what Child this is. I love Thee, Lord Jesus. I will come and worship and not only worship—but surrender!

Blessed Surrender to you and yours!


1 comment:

deeps said...

beautiful message

Merry Christmas!!