It’s a tough balancing act; being active in your own life, and trusting in God, and it’s one I’ve been struggling with lately. I have all these plans about what should happen, and how things should go, and I want to make sure I do my part, because I do believe that God expects us to work hard. But I think where I have fallen down, where I have become confused, is in the aftermath of the work. I’ve tried to control what happens when the work God has given me is complete, and no longer solely mine. I haven’t trusted Him to do what needs to be done, or at least what I think needs to be done.
It’s in these attempts to take control over aspects of our lives, aspects over which we really should have no expectation of control, that we begin to feel a distancing from God; or at least I have. Each day I continue to read my bible, to pray, to reach out, but I know that there is something between us, something interfering in my relationship. I’ve written before about how easily I slip into the “I’ve done something wrong” mindset, and this time has been no exception. I have wracked my brain, examined my life, tried to figure out what I’m doing, or not doing, that has disappointed God, that has caused him to pull away from me.
Today I was reading Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 4, and these words stood out; “it was credited to him by faith”, “righteousness that comes by faith” “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Paul writes often about being “justified by faith” and it was these words that I felt held the key to what I was missing. Was it simply that my faith was not…enough?
I did some research and found one website that provided my epiphany (see the link below if you want to read the full article). I’ll share here the points that I wrote down:
“God doth justify the believing man, yet not for the worthiness of his belief, but for the worthiness of Him which is believed.” Richard Hooker (A Discourse of Justification)
“It is the acceptance of the guilty by reason of a Trusted Christ”
“Divine welcome of the guilty as if they were not guilty by reliance upon Jesus Christ”
“Surrender is not the price paid for peace – it is the open hand necessary to appropriate the gift of it.”
Can you see what I was doing wrong? Those times that I feel most connected to my heavenly Father are the times that I step back and “surrender” all aspects of my life to Him. They are the moments when I “rely” upon him. I had closed my hand and was no longer able to offer the gift that He was continuing to hold out to me. Peace. It is so easy to forget this in a world where we can have the illusion of control over everything. I can schedule when I’m going to pick up my groceries, how quickly my packages arrive, haircuts, appointments…I can even do it all from my phone! Sure, I can acknowledge that there are things over which I have no control – other cars on the road, sickness, death. But it’s hard to let go of control over the things that are closest to you, that are a part of you, like your kids, and for me, my work. But I guess the point God wanted me to realize, the point I finally got today (but am sure I’ll need reminders of) is that once you’ve done the work, raised the kids, once you send them out into the world…that is the time when it is the most important to trust God, to trust in His plan for you, for your children, for your life.
So today I surrender. I have done my best, I have done what I felt God called me to do, and now it’s time to let it go. To sit back, and relax, and trust in his plan. I’m opening my hand to accept the peace that comes from surrendering myself and my life to “the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” Romans 4:17
Here’s the link for any of you who would like to read the full article.
And I think this song by Carrie Underwood says it all.