Maybe your new year feels like standing at the bottom of an amphitheater. Simply looking up at the never-ending stairs feels painful. Each step on the climb to the top as excruciating as the first. Your legs feel shaky and heavy, your heart is racing, your brow is sweaty, you’re gasping for air and you’re only on the first step.
Everyone around you seems to have it together. They are geared up, warmed up, and ready for the challenge. They have a long list of goals, a new set of running shoes, and the stamina to actually achieve their dreams. They see the next 365 days as an opportunity for self improvement and growth!
While you glare at the next 365 days and see a steep treacherous incline. You don’t know how you are going to make it through day one let alone a whole year. You don’t have a list of goals, you’re still wearing your pjs, your face is covered in old makeup from yesterday and you are ready for a nap.
There is only one way to make it to the top. One action word with enough power to change the trajectory of the whole year.
Surrender by definition means: “to give oneself up into the power of another.” Surrender is a daily part of life. It is an action we do all the time without even realizing it. Surrender surrounds us. But the kind of surrender God asks from us is different. This type of surrender is holy. Surrender happens when we totally and completely give our life to Him, without holding anything back.
I love what Matthew 11: 28-30 says about surrender:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)
Surrender is the only way we learn to develop a new rhythm of grace. Surrender is the next step on the climb to the top. Surrender is how we acquire the stamina necessary to see it through another day. Surrender is how we let go and lighten our load enough to change our perspective.
Let’s declare this year a year of surrender.
The year we stop trying to do it on our own.
The year we let go and fall into the arms of our Father.
The year we say, “I can’t but You can.”
The year we chase after Him and find our dreams chasing after us.
Surrender will still hurt, it will still require courage, strength, and grit. When we surrender bad things will still happen, life will continue to throw hard fast curve balls that bring us to our knees, but this time we won’t have to find our footing on our own. He will hold us up when we do not have the strength to stand and He will redeem our story this side of heaven or the other.
There will be purpose even in our pain if we bravely: choose Him, choose joy, choose courage, and choose life.
Tomorrow is another day. January 2nd will come to pass, then January 3rd and so on. As the sun sets on each new day, as you hike up each new set of stairs on the way to the top, you will begin to see things from a new point of view. Problems which once felt like giants will become tiny specs in the rear-view mirror. You will look around and notice you are not alone. There is an entire army surrounding you. Friends and family are standing on the sidelines cheering you on shouting:
“You can do this!”
“You’ve got this!”
“Look how far you’ve come!”
”I’m so proud of you!”
And I am right there in the grind with you! Broken and hurting but still choosing life. This year isn’t ours to conquer instead it’s His to control, so let’s give him the reigns. We don’t have to tackle it the same old way anymore. There is a better way, there is hope ahead with Him. God’s Got This!