All That to Say: A Strange Peace in the Midst of Surrender

Some months ago I heard a message about predestination (I'm a Christ Follower and I've provided a link if this is a new term for you), and I have to say that for the very first time it struck me in a profound way, a way that totally jacked up my prayer life.

I asked a lot of questions of my Pastor following that message; questions like, "So basically, God already knows every person who will either accept or reject His Son, Jesus.  Correct?"   His answer: Yes.  "God not only knows, but He has ORDAINED who will accept or reject His Son, Jesus.  Correct?"  His answer:  Yes.  "There's nothing I can say or do, or another person can say or do, that will cause someone to accept or reject Jesus, correct?"  Answer:  Yes.

"Then why does it matter if I tell someone about Jesus or not?" Answer: "Because God tells us to."

So the part that jacked up my prayer life was, "why should I pray if it is already figured out?!"

Prior to this message, I had a very rich prayer life, filled with lots of dialogue about pretty much everything.  And it went from that to nothing.  Because I suddenly felt like I didn't know how to pray, or worse yet that my prayers didn't matter.  And I have to confess to you that I didn't pray at all, for months. . . And then I lost my job.  Talk about a dialogue opener.

Over the course of the last few weeks since I left, I have noticed something about my prayers.  Most of my prayers were me trying to tell God how to be God.  I was constantly telling Him how I thought things should happen, how I thought they should have gone down, how I wanted things to change, what I needed, what He should do . . .  in short, I wanted to be in control.

And then I was struck with this thought; what if I just released my need to control and instead just focused on the majesty, the authority, the awesomeness of God?  What if I just surrendered to the idea that His plan was good and for my good, and quit trying to give Him a better plan?  What if I just worshiped Him, rejoicing each day in what He was doing in my life, what He was giving and what He was taking away?"

That's not to say that I don't still share my struggles, my hurts, my hopes and my fears with Him.  It's just that I'm not telling God what I think He should do.  I do still wake up most mornings asking, "Why?"  But the answer has quickly become, "Because this is what God has for my life.  This was His plan, and that's the only answer to "why?" that I need to remember."

All that to say, I'm sure that this will be a work in progress.  I'm a control freak.  But I have a strange peace in this place of surrender.  There's a lot of freedom in giving up control, which sounds like an oxymoron, but it's deep truth.

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