And I stay bowed down face to the ground. Because only my posture reflects surrender. My heart rebels. Beating a rhythm of fear. Thud. You. Can’t. Thud. Do. This. Doubt pulsing red through my veins.
This surrender. This dance. I sway in close. Then He asks for all of me. And I retreat. In the deep places hidden in my heart, I don’t want the knee to bend. I want control. This small part not singing His praise? It sings the loudest.
What does this surrender look like? I sit demure in my chair and wait for life to happen? Far, far from it. He calls me to action. He tells me to make plans, but that He’ll direct my steps. He tells me that if I am following Him, just maybe my plans won’t be as neat. He tells me, reach the least of these. And I tell Him I am. He queries, where are they? In your tidy home? Your tidy pew at church? How are you being My hands and feet?
I bow my head, acknowledging the truth. I want clean and tidy and easy. Give me paved roads and flowers planted in the ditches.
He wants to take me on winding gravel, the bend in the road invisible to my eye. I careen down His path, heart in my throat. But when He pries my fingers from my eyes, I see beauty. He takes me in the middle of mess. Filth. Squalor. And He asks. Can you see it? Can you see My beauty here?
And I really look. And it’s there. Vibrant wildflowers growing in a trash heap. Colors of scarlet and deepest purple. Beauty from the ashes. People in direst of poverty, dirty and beaten, loudly praising the name of Jesus. Because someone chose to be His feet and traversed the globe to spread His message. A child, beaten and abused, trusts again. Because someone chose to be His hands and reach out to love. The addict, broken and hopeless, finds hope. Because someone kept knocking at heaven’s door with insistent hands. His hands. The homeless finds an eternal home. Because someone used His hands to reach down. The mentally ill finds clarity in Truth. Because someone used His feet to walk into the mess of humanity.
And there is raw, beautiful splendor.
But He whispers, it won’t be on the easy road, your road. It’ll be on Mine.
I still beat my fists on the ground and say, I’ll do it someday.
He says, my timing is perfect.
I cry, people won’t understand.
He assures me, they didn’t understand me either.
I pout, obedience is so hard.
He smiles, oh, but Child. The rewards are eternal.
I whimper, I’ll have to ask for help.
He grins, I gave others my hands and feet too.
I tell Him, I might fall flat on my face.
He admonishes, Who are you afraid of embarrassing. You or Me?
I whisper, I’m scared.
His gentle whisper wraps around me, you are never alone.
And it’s scary. Surrender is. Unless I really know Who I’m surrendering to. And I know it might hurt. And it might be hard. But He reminds me that He is the giver of all things, and it’s always been Him in control anyway. He hasn’t been scrambling to keep up with ugly humanity. He’s always been working it all for good. Even the ugly. And He reminds me, as I turn around all the possibilities in my mind. Weighing the good and bad of surrender. He quietly asks, will you take only the good and not, too, accept the bad? It all comes from Me. It all has the potential to bring Me the greatest glory.
Will you use it?
Will you surrender?
Because really, isn’t surrender reckless after all? You stand on the ledge, and you trust His arms to catch you. And even when it feels like maybe He dropped you, maybe He forgot to be there. Or His resounding “NO” is still reverberating through your weary head. He’s still hovering, and you’re still safe in His arms. And you have to believe that. Because that’s faith and sometimes it’s reckless too.
So you take a deep breath, you bend at the knee.
And you fly.