I wrote this five years ago. And I could rewrite this exact same reminder to myself and say, yes sister, it did get harder because this season is one of even more surrender and silence.
A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that I’m beginning to personally understand what those whom I read about in God’s Word experience. Not at all to say that I’m some kind of a spiritual giant. No one is or ever was, really. It truthfully comes down to simple surrender or staying stuck. I’d like to stay stuck, much of the time. Surrender is painful. Painfully painful. But it’s the only way for His transformation to take place in my heart and life. After all, the very purpose for my existence is to Love Him and Live Him. So I choose to allow His work in my life. And as I do, I come to know Him the way that they did. That’s not always as glorious as it sounds. But I’m beginning to see that their stories are recorded, not for us to idolize them but to identify with them. God graciously gives us glimpses into His relationship with them for us to see the work He wants to do in our own lives.
This has been the most painful year of surrender I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve had some tough ones. Years where I’ve had to offer forgiveness that was unearned nor deserved. Years where I’ve had to move from victim to personal responsibility. Years where I’ve had to walk away from everything I had planned to start a life I never expected. Yes, there have been painful years of surrender. I’m almost scared that it might get even harder. It probably will. But one painful purging after another has taught me the reality of His perfect love casting out my fears. Even the fears of what He might ask of me next.
A few weeks ago, my Father and I were having our time together and a thought occurred to me. If I could summarize what this season of surrender has been, it would be the night Jacob and God wrestled. God walked away the winner. Jacob walked away, well, injured. But better. Better because He had a personal encounter with God. An encounter that would strip him of his pride. An encounter that would lead to a great nation.
I’m not really sure what the purpose is for my current season of surrender. But I feel like I’ve been in a year-long wrestle with God. I doubt it’s to form a nation. But it is to prepare me. Even though I have no idea what for because He is still silent. Have you even noticed that God didn’t tell Jacob anything? He just wrestled with him. I think just maybe Jacob walked away thinking, “What in the world was that for?!” That pretty much sums up my thoughts. I have no idea what purpose all of this surrendering and wrestling is about in my own life. Maybe it’s just getting rid of things in my heart that need to be put to death. Maybe it is preparing for something. God has been silent. He has given me no answers. Or clarity. Or anything. Just silence. And more wrestling. My survival mantra has become, one day at a time.
In all of this, people in my life whom I dearly love have been experiencing His silence, as well. They have been painfully patient for God to act on their behalf. To see Him move. To see His purpose. To see a miracle. To see something. To see anything. Yet, He is silent. Painfully silent. And I wake up each day, hoping that today is the day we get to see Him move. You know, how the Israelites must have felt and experienced that 400 years between the Old Testament and the New, waiting for the Messiah. Good grief, I hope it’s not a 400 year wait for us, too.
I want to panic. I really do. I’m a planner. Short term. Long term. That’s one of those areas Him and me have been wrestling about. He doesn’t think I need to make my own plans. I don’t like that. But I can’t panic. No matter how hard I try, there’s peace. Isn’t that almost annoying? But here I am, limping away, just like Jacob. I hurt. I do not understand. He wins and I trust. I trust because I’ve learned something from my past seasons of surrender. He is good. Always good. Even when He is silent. And even when He is silent, He is not still nor distant. I must choose to be still, but He is most certainly at work. I may be blind to it all but He is in complete control. That doesn’t always make me feel better. There are times that I just want to scream (ok, I do scream), “enough already!” Enough silence. I need to see something. Anything. I get tired. Weary. Worn. But I am certain that His silence is not His blindness. In fact, just as He created all things with complete power, authority and order, He is at work the exact same way in my own life. So I trust His silent work, because I know He is good. Always and completely good.