surrender

Whenever I saw bullies causing someone pain in school, I did something about it. Sometimes I got them to back off. Other times I made enemies. Once I even got seriously hurt. In any case, I never just stood by when someone needed help.

Sometimes I feel like people do just that to me. They see me in pain, know details of my suffering, and choose not to help. I feel it as they slowly drift away from me, and I realize I can’t count on them to help me feel better all the time. So in that situation, you do what any logical Christian would: give the suffering to Jesus and wait until He heals it.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Friend, whenever I would put all of my pain and disappointment at the foot of the cross, I almost always picked it back up. Yup, I put on my shameful, unworthy, unhappy little self again and walked through my new life weighed down. Why? Because taking back control and trying to fight my way out seemed more productive than letting the question of why I still hurt consume me. My pain – my bully – threatened to beat me, so I did something about it. And each time I failed, I felt the pain even deeper than before and wondered why.

But as we so often forget, we aren’t promised a life free of pain. In fact, in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). Trouble that includes but is not limited to long-lasting suffering. To abandonment. To brokenness. However, no matter how low we feel, we are not beaten because Jesus has already conquered the world. Even our own world full of sadness that still hurts and confuses us, even those feelings of regret and despair, He can defeat and use for good. For that to happen though, we can’t just vent about our problems and pray that they go away. We need to surrender.

Surrender in realizing that holding onto our shame and heartache won’t fuel our will to fight, but instead make it easier for us to lose.

Surrender in knowing that He is mending our wayward hearts and pointing them back to Him, even during the most excruciating pain.

Surrender in resting on the truth that our joy, our sorrow, our bullies don’t define us – because Jesus did something about it.

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