Unconditional Surrender

As I was flying back to Florida last night, I began to take in all that had happened in just a few weeks.  One moment, I am telling God that I will go “anywhere,” and there I was on a plane to that “anywhere,” meeting wonderful people, seeing new and beautiful landscapes, and having the opportunity to interview for a position God has been preparing for me.  Though I don’t know that I will ultimately be offered the job, this trip was yet another opportunity for me to learn about surrendering my will and resting in His perfect plans for my life.  Jaime was a profile of what it means to surrender.  The night before the surgery to remove the original tumor, she tweeted the prayer of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jaime took comfort that Christ understood the human side of wanting to avoid discomfort and change.  Nevertheless, just like her Lord, she prayed, “Not my will but yours be done.”  That’s a difficult prayer to see through.  For Christ it meant a torturous death.  For Jaime it meant a fairly easy surgery, recovery, and then months of cancer, paralysis, and her ultimate death.  My wife, who had loathed doctors, yet who had prayed, “not my will but yours be done,” let them pick, stick, and prod at her without her asking for the easy way out.  My wife, known for her independence, clung to me as I literally lifted her up the stairs and out of the bathtub.  That was how she and I got though the cancer – we clung to the Lord and we waited for Him to lift us up when we couldn’t move forward.  And He always did.   Not always the way we would have or at the time we would have – but He always did.

As I recognized familiar lights on the ground, and heard the landing gear lower, I took great comfort in knowing that regardless of which job opens up, or where Felicity and I find ourselves, we truly are going to be just fine.  How do I know this?  What happens if we get to a place that is different from where we’ve come?  What happens if we don’t know anyone?  How do I know that this isn’t all a mistake and that when I get to my new position I won’t sink in my desk chair and realize I am in the wrong place?  I know because I have met with the God of the universe and have knelt before Him in complete surrender.  I have recognized that all of my worries are a waste of time.  I have submitted myself in unconditional surrender to His perfect plans for my life.  He is the God who tends to the lilies and the birds of the air, and pays close attention to all of the specifics of life.  And I, Felicity, and you my friend are much more important than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.  Our next assignment will be different from our current assignment.  It will stretch us both in ways we have never been stretched.  It will have us continually asking of God to lead and guide us – and He will because He always has!  Regardless of my words and even my interventions, God is going to have His way in where we ultimately end up living.  I have put away my list of requirements and rest in knowing that He knows what is best for Felicity and me.  Since He is leading me to that “best,” there is no worry that it is going to be a mistake.  Yesterday, during my interview, a member of the panel asked me, “Describe your perfect job.”  That’s an easy question!  I shared with them that there is no such thing.  There is no perfect job because collectively we are imperfect people.  However, when you know that you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you have been called and equipped to do, you can collectively rest in knowing it is His best and that is what makes it perfect.  I don’t know what’s on your mind right now – what decisions and worries you are thinking of.  What I do know is that there is great power and peace when your prayer is “Not my will but yours be done,” and when you surrender the day and the decisions to the One who clothes the flowers, feeds the birds, and has already made perfect plans for you and me.

2 thoughts on “Unconditional Surrender

  1. Wow James …God has been speaking to me through your writings. Just this morning I asked Him to please reveal to us the college Alyssa is to go to. We are praying for UCF for their Nursing Program. Several out of state colleges have accepted her but I don’t think I can swing that. I told God to please let me know He wants me to do because Lord you know that we need to start applying for financial aid. I believe I received His answer in your blog. Not my will but yours Lord. Thanks James for all your blogs. You will never how much your writings have touched my life. It will be 14 years in July on Alyssa’s birthday since I lost my best friend to cancer. Through your writings I now see her death as wonderful for her and not such a punishment for me. (How selfish on my part). Keep writing James!!

  2. God bless my friend! I miss working with you every day:)

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