Every summer in college I worked at a summer camp. Each summer would begin with a few weeks of training where the year-round staff would prep us for the delightfully exhausting season ahead. During one of these staff trainings, my director put an interesting spin on a a common illustration. Whenever it comes time to make decisions or face something difficult, I feel like the phrases “open hands” or “offer it up” are uttered nothing short of eight billion times.
If you have said this to me, first of all, I want to thank you. Because as someone who is prone to want to control everything, I know that by you saying this you are trying to get me to remember that I need to let God take His rightful place in my life as Ruler and King. He controls my life; I need to be faithful with what He’s given me.
Back to my camp director’s challenge. All of the ladies on staff were outside enjoying the cool breeze of the afternoon. (Which, who knew there was a place where you could be outside in May and not be sweating buckets? Don’t get me wrong Texas, you’re still my favorite. But sometimes your summers are the worst.) My director bent down and picked up a rock. She told us to think of something in our lives that we are protective over (family, a relationship, grades, etc) that the rock could represent. We often think that by opening our hands, we’re submitting that to God. Which is true to some extent. But think about it, if the rock is still in your hand, you control how high, where the rock goes, and sometimes you close your fingers right tight around it again. What would happen if you took your rock in your palm with your hand open, and then flipped it over? The rock would fall out of your controlling grasp.
I think I’m fairly good at opening my hands to surrender my “rock,” but totally letting go is a different story. I profess with my mouth that I trust God with _____, but my heart and my mind are a lot slower to get on board. I’ve known God for most of my life and been walking consistently with Him for almost 15 years, so why is it so hard for me to let go? I’ve seen and experienced Him being there for me in the darkest of hours, experienced Him provide for me abundantly. But hesitancy still has roots deeper than I would like to admit.
I don’t have any profound revelation or earth shattering point. This isn’t a fully resolved lesson or something that is in the past. It’s not a ‘one and done’ approach.
Surrender is daily obedience.
With each day, let my soul cry “All to Thee, my precious Savior, I surrender all.”