Opendoor Youth Camp: Day #4

The definition of surrender is “to cease resistance and submit to another’s authority.” Yikes. The part of me that loves control does not love yielding that control to someone else. After all, how can we truly know that we can trust someone else to do good to us in return if we submit to them?

I come face-to-face with this almost every night during my kids’ bedtime: “But Mom, I want to watch more TV,” “But Mom, I’m thirsty,” and “But mom, it’s not fair. I’m not even tired.”
It’s not fair.

Honestly, from my kids’ perspective, I’m sure it doesn’t feel fair; and at times, it may not be. But as their parent, I don’t need them to feel like a decision is fair in order for me to do what I know is best for them. So the conversation continues.
“Son, do I love you?”
“Do I want the best for you?"
“Yes, mom.”
“Then I need you to trust that right now, this is for your good.”

This may sound like an intense conversation to have with my littles at bed time, but it gives me the opportunity every single night to remind them that I love them and I care about what is best for them. The truth is that I want them to go to bed because I want them to wake up feeling good and rested so that they can have joy and energy to laugh, play, and learn the next day. I can see a bigger, fuller picture of their life that they can’t quite see. Knowing that my thoughts and intentions toward them are good helps them surrender to my authority.
I think the same is true when it comes to trusting God and surrendering to His will. The Bible is clear about His thoughts and intentions toward us. The more we dig into His Word and learn about His character, the easier it becomes to lean into Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Part of surrendering to God is also getting honest with the fact that we have very little control anyway. That may seem kind of scary, but it is actually the best place to find rest. We find peace when we learn to trust in His ultimate sovereignty, boundless mercy, and generous compassion towards us. Isaiah 26:3 ESV says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” What if He actually is as good as His Word says He is? What if surrendering to Him is not a loss of what I think is best for myself, but a glorious gain of His goodness running without constraint through my life?

Ask God what His thoughts are toward you. (If you don’t know where to start, read through the book of Psalms!) Ask yourself what situations in your life right now do not feel fair or may even feel wrong?

“Holy Spirit, show me Your heart towards me. Help me to trust in Your plans and authority over my life. When things feel unfair, help me to remember that You see the bigger picture and always have what is best for me in mind. Shape me and mold me to become more like You. Thank you for being such a good Father. Amen.”
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