Finding Rest in Surrender

When life is not flowing smoothly, when dreams and desires have been put on hold, and when life feels like it is fraying at the edges, our natural inclination is to take back control in our mind and in our heart. Many of us try to figure out how to fix the external or internal issues that are plaguing us. In a natural attempt to exit the pain, the struggle, and the uncertainty we look under every rock, look at every angle, read numerous books, attend countless seminars, and talk endlessly to family and friends looking for answers and relief.

Many of our struggles and burdens are painful, heavy, and real. Often we are convinced that we are alone, reaffirming our fear that Father God has left us to figure out life. I have often been in this space, feeling alone, scared, and isolated, not able to put thoughts or words to the fog and despair I am feeling, wondering where my freedom and joy disappeared to.

Thankfully God is faithful, and keeps his promise that he has never left us, and that he will never abandon us. Father God reaffirms his unbreakable bond with each of us individually reminding us we are not alone, we are not orphans, but that we belong to him. Jesus, who has never stopped holding our hand, reminds us of his presence and re-invites us to surrender all that threatens and overwhelms. Even in the midst of feeling overwhelmed, undone, alone, and isolated, complete surrender is often one of the most difficult things to begin.

Usually my beginning place is surrendering to the reality that I don’t even know how to surrender, or what to surrender. I surrender to the reality that I don’t even know if surrender will help my situation. Admittedly at times I have to surrender the reality that I am unsure if my Father is trustworthy and safe. Something cool happens though as we surrender the realness of our lives to God. We are not only released from the burdens that our Father never asked us to carry, we are also reminded afresh that our Father is indeed good, and that Jesus actually cares and has never left us.

In the experience of surrender, we are able to joyfully and painfully admit our weakness and fragility. Sometimes we fall into the terrible illusion of performance and the old law of trying to manufacture our own success, goodness, joy, happiness, niceness, and everything else that we deem “positive” and “spiritual”. Surrender pierces this terrible and burdensome lie, liberating us from the unrelenting restlessness of controlling and fixing our life, and we begin to be reconnected into the freeing reality that it is Jesus who holds our life, our dreams, and our desires. As we surrender to the Father's love, our situations, emotions, thoughts, expectations, worries, fears, insecurities, weaknesses as well as our dreams and desires are held securely in his love; and our restlessness begins to dissolve. Surrender really is the antidote to the restlessness within.

Jesus simply says to all of us who are weary and tired “come and I will give you rest”. In his presence we learn to accept our humanity and ask for our humanity to be kissed by Divinity. What a wonderful, gentle, tender, and compassionate invitation from Jesus, where no impatience or condemnation are hidden within his invitation.

~ “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30