Surrender. What a hard word.
For some reason God has been bringing this word up in my life multiple times this past week, this past month, even this past semester. And each time it comes up, I am convicted yet again. Lord, I need to surrender. It seems that there is no end to the things that I hold on to, the people, feelings, ideas, fears... all the different things I try to base my identity on.
And these last couple of weeks, it has been my hands.
I posted awhile back about how my hands were hurting, and how difficult that was for me. Well, this week, I got a whole new perspective on that. I've been learning that when you surrender, you must be willing for the thing you're surrendering to die, to be killed, and possibly taken from you forever. As soon as I heard this, I thought of my hands. Would I be willing to surrender them to God - assenting completely to His will, even if that meant I could never use them again?
It's a hard thought. But it brought me to realize just how much I've been basing my worth on my hands and my ability to play piano. Yes, I know that I'm a child of God, and my worth and identity should be based off of that. But subconsciously, I re-phrased this. I would think: I'm a child of God - who plays piano. In my mind, my identity was wrapped up in both of these ideas. If either one of them was not there, I wouldn't be me.
What a wrong view of myself I had!
Remember that picture I have at the top of this post? There's a story and a meaning behind it. That was the view I saw one night when I just really wanted to be alone and talk to God about the things that I needed to surrender to Him. The only place I could think of to truly be alone was in a practice room. I turned the light off and sat on the floor behind one of the grand pianos, hoping that I wouldn't be seen by anyone outside. And there I poured my heart out before my God. I prayed aloud (thankfully, those practice rooms are mostly soundproof), and listed each thing that I knew I must give over into God's hands. Even if I never got them back.
This is what I have done this week with my hands. They are God's now, to do with what He will. My piano-playing ability is not what defines me. Only God is.
And you know what's so amazing?
As soon as I surrendered my hands over to God, He gave them back. He has been strengthening them daily, and at the same time giving me joy and peace that passes understanding. And now, passing through this time of testing, I can see my God so much clearer. My life, in even a small way, is that much more focused and centered on my God and Creator.
That, my friends, is the real reason for surrender. Even if God doesn't give the thing you've surrendered back - the goal of it all is to become more like Him. And that is what I'm striving to pursue each day.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." ~Romans 12:1