If you have read my book, Ten Life Choices you know that one of the ten choices highlighted is choose surrender. Out of the ten (Honesty, Grace, Forgiveness, Truth, Surrender, Empowerment, Community, Worship, Intimacy, Availability) I personally find surrender the most challenging (those of you who know me best are saying "Of course you do Bob, you like to be in control!).
The truth is that as time marches forward, it seems that more and more of life is outside of the realm of my control and I am called upon to surrender (health, finances, our nation's morality, etc.,). In the book I remind the reader that surrender has two parts, denying self and trusting God. What I have come to understand more recently is that the second part actually makes the first part easier. I am much more likely to deny myself (control, pleasure, getting my way, etc.,) if I TRULY trust God and His plan for my life and future.
Recently I taught a series on the miracles of Jesus. The first miracle covered was the changing of water to wine at Cana. In this miracle what struck me most was the complete surrender on the part of Mary. Of course, Mary had begun her journey with Jesus in complete surrender. When the angel appeared and told her that she was to be with child, though she was still a virgin, her response was "I am the Lord's servant, may your word to me be fulfilled". Complete surrender.
In the miracle at Cana, her surrender seems to flow easily. The wedding feast runs out of wine. Mary notices and comes to Jesus. She simply says "They have no more wine.". She doesn't suggest anything, have a plan for Jesus to follow, uses no words of manipulation or coercion. She just states the need. (How many times do I come to the Lord with a request AND a possible solution to my liking!). Jesus really offers her nothing in his response, "Woman, why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come." It feels like a dismissal. Mary's response, "Do whatever he tells you.". Again, complete surrender.
As I was studying the passage it hit me. Mary could completely remove herself and her own plans/desires from the equation (deny self) because she completely trusted Jesus. She knew who He was, what He was capable of AND she knew that He loved and cared for her personally. She had complete confidence that whatever happened next would be for the good of all involved, even if they drank water!
There it is. When I struggle to surrender control to God, I am admitting that I don't completely trust Him or His love for me. As I reflect on the past, I can remember and rehearse that He can be trusted AND that He has my best interest at heart. The more I affirm this in my heart and mind, the easier it will be to surrender. As I practice this, maybe one day when faced with a challenge, I will say, "Whatever He does is okay with me.". Choose surrender.