Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
couple of days ago I used the phrase, “Surrender to God is not about giving up, but about giving over.” Here’s the exact quote, from “Giving the Garden Back to God.”
SURRENDER: “Giving it back to God” turns out to be a useful plan for life in general. And I’m talking about surrender rather than resignation. Resignation has to do with giving up, whereas surrender has to do with giving over.
So Rebekah and I were talking about the idea this morning, over our daily “coffee and newspaper before breakfast” ritual. I had sighed – fairly deeply – about something, and then she had responded with, “Isn’t that the whole idea of surrender to God? Giving over all of our uncertainty, and letting go of our need to feel like we’re always in control, and then replacing it with faith, and belief, and the confidence of stepping into God’s promises?”
Whatever it was that I was concerned about didn’t go away, but the cutting edge of my anxiety was replaced with the unmistakable fact of God’s comfort and presence. I didn’t “give up,” but instead I “gave the situation over” to God.
TWO THINGS: So there are two principles I want to communicate in this post this morning:
- The first is the beauty of walking with God on a day-to-day basis. My confidence in God grows with every step; not God making things necessarily any easier, but God being in things and – consequently – inhabiting the processes with grace and hope and promise.
- The second is the beauty of walking in faith with Rebekah, of having these spiritual conversations as a part of the routine of life. I’ll say it again, we should not imagine our “spiritual life” as distinct from our “life.” Our life is our spiritual life. This is (must be) true of our relationships as well, and most especially with our spouse.
So, peace – the peace that is outside of our traditional human understanding – to you all on this day - DEREK