I don’t even find it strange anymore when I read my devotional books and find they are exactly what I need to hear that day. In fact, my response is often, “Thank you” and “Of course”. I am both surprised by God and not surprised by Him each day.
On July 18, 2004 I picked up my new favorite devotion book, “Reflections for Ragamuffins” by Brennan Manning. The title of the entry that day is “Abandoned to His Will”, the following one is “Leap of Trust”. I remember looking out over the field behind my house and saying to God, “No matter what I will choose to trust You and thank You, even if it is through tears and grumbling. I am Yours.” That’s been 9 years. NINE. I can’t believe it. I sit here this morning with a heart filled with thanks wondering if that moment on my couch has drastically changed the course of my life. I will praise Him on the mountain top, I will praise Him in the valley.
Have you seen the size of a mustard seed? That’s all the faith we need. In fact, I think that even a baby mustard seed sized faith will work.
I truly believe that God’s plans are to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. I don’t pretend to know what that will look like, but I do have a vision for my family and for my life. Every day we are faced with what we need to let go of and what we need to hold onto. I don’t know about you, but knowing that God has a plan for me and that His plans are good helps me to let go of the things I shouldn’t hold onto in the first place.
Concretely, abandonment to the will of God consists of finding his purpose for you in all the people, events, and circumstances you encounter. If God tears up your beautiful game plan and leads you into a valley instead of onto a mountaintop, it is because he wants you to discover his plan, which is more beautiful than anything you or I could have dreamed up. The response of trust is “Thank you, Jesus,” even if it is said through clenched teeth.
Isn’t that beautiful? Doesn’t that give you permission to struggle? You don’t have to be perfect in your faith toward the Father.
I don’t know much, but I do know this: Trusting God has never been easy, not even a little bit. I know He is good. I know He is faithful. I know that the moment I surrender myself to Him completely that He blesses me. For instance, yesterday I woke up with peace and relief in my heart. I was trusting Him in everything. That day I see blessings coming my way. I made some calls for work that made me nervous and the first one was a breeze. Right away I hear the words: “See? This is me blessing you in your obedience.” My verse of the day on my Bible app is about obeying the Lord my God and walking in His ways, and that the Lord God will bless me. I may not have the land of Canaan to go and possess as the Israelites do, but I do have my own promised land. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like and I don’t think I have to be sure.
What is it that you need to surrender to Him? You already know what it is. If you don’t (but you probably do), go ahead and ask Him what it is that is keeping you from Him. He’ll show you.
But I bet you already know.