I recently took a trip out West to retreat with my best friend. We spent a few days together getting away from the madness of our everyday lives, spending some time with God, and decompressing. During that time, I kept waiting for God to speak to me. He waited until the day I was traveling back home, while sitting on a plane, and sitting in an airport…not what I had expected. But then again, I guess it never is, because God always shows up on His timetable, not ours.
While traveling back home I filled up lots of pages in my journal. There was one word that kept coming to mind over and over…SURRENDER. While I was sitting in a Starbucks in the Charlotte airport, everything seemed to disappear as I thought about what it meant to surrender. That moment was reminiscent of these lyrics from U2:
At the moment of surrender
Of vision over visibility
I did not notice the passers-by
And they did not notice me
That day I discovered something in my life that was keeping me from taking another step in my walk with God…something that I had not been willing to let go of…a dream that I had been holding onto for many years…a dream that may only be my dream and not God’s dream for my life, which meant that it needed to be surrendered. That was a painful moment for me as I had to come to grips with letting go and trusting that God really does know what’s best for my life.
So, what do you do when all your dreams don’t come true? You sure as heck don’t go to Disney World. What do you do when you realize that your dreams don’t always match God’s dreams? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself whether or not the dreams you are pursing are God’s dreams for your life? Or, are they your own? Most of the time we don’t ask because we’re afraid of the truth. So, rather than face the truth, we chase after things that don’t ever materialize. And before you know it, we’re disillusioned with God because he didn’t give us “the desires of our heart”.
The way I see it, we have two options: 1. We can continue to hold onto the dreams, pursue them at all costs, and allow them to dominate our heart and mind. Or, 2. We can surrender. Let go. Trust that God knows us better than we know ourselves, and trust His plan for our life.
A lot of people use Jeremiah 29:11 as a verse to help them feel more peaceful about God’s will. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” For me, this verse brings more tension than it does peace. It forces me to face the fact that I don’t know what’s best for my own life…God does, and that can be a painful realization.
To surrender means that you give God complete access to our heart, which allows Him to make it more like His. What are you holding onto? What is keeping you from taking the next step in your walk with God? What do you need to surrender?