Sweet little memory - surrender

tilt shift lens photography of person lifting handAuthor's Note:  Many of you know that I've been 
writing since the year 2000.  
We've been doing some cleaning out lately and have come across many of the letters I wrote to the Women's Sunday School class I was honored to teach for 12 years.  Below I've copied one the letters I wrote in November, 2004.  Clay (now 21) was 7 at the time.  I'm thankful that the truth of God's word is timeless and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training... and I'm hopeful that my writing ability has improved just a little.  😁

November 2, 2004

"Hands up, you filthy animal, you better surrender!"  Clay likes to catch me off guard with those words.  That line is his own combination derived from the movie, Home Alone, and a couple of old Western movies or cartoons.  He does actually know the word "surrender" means, at least in this context.   Clay recently learned a hard lesson about his own surrender or submission to the authority of our garage door.  He often like to "challenge" the door as we are leaving to go somewhere by pressing the button at the back door and running/sliding under the door just in the nick of time.  I know that when a bike or a bat get in the way of the closing garage door, it stops and goes back up, don't you?  Frank, Mollie and Clay were headed to get a pizza.  "Mother" Mollie gently reminded Clay as he pushed the button that it wasn't a good ideas, and he now heartily agrees.  Half his body landed inside the garage, while the other half rested on the driveway.  In retrospect Frank said he looked like a turtle in distress, arms and legs flailing.  It took all Mollie's strength, with an extra push from Frank, to get the door back up.  Clay has some scrapes and bruises on his back, probably due more to the "flailing" than the actual door.  He was a little shook up, and later told Frank he just wasn't ready to go to Heaven yet.  So, he's now a little more respectful of the garage door.

Sometimes I really wish we could learn some lessons without the hard knocks and bruises that often come with our "hard" heads.  As we studied the second chapter of the book of Esther on Sunday, I couldn't help but think of her obedient surrender.  Surrender to the authority of the King's decree, surrender to the authority of her surrogate parent, Mordecai, and surrender to the wise counsel of Hegai, the King's eunuch.  We aren't told exactly how willingly she surrendered, but given the tone of the book regarding her, I believe it must have been with a genuine strength of character and grace.

Our society often equates surrender with losing, or giving in to a stronger opponent.  Some you know I am again working through Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life.  If you have a copy, join me in the 10th chapter.  Warren says, "surrendering to God is the heart of worship."  He offer three barriers that he believes block our total surrender to God. 

#1  our lack of trust in God
#2  our pride, adding here that our desire, to have complete control, is the cause of so much stress in our lives,
#3  we don't really know what surrender means.  

"Instead of trying harder, you trust more," Warren writes, "Genuine surrender says, 'Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another's, please don't take it away.  In Jesus' case, He agonized so much over God's plan that He sweat drops of blood.  Surrender is hard work.'"

When questioned about why he felt God had used and blessed his life, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, said, "When I was a young man, I made a contract with God.  I literally wrote it out and signed my name at the bottom.  It said, "From this day forward, I am a slave of Jesus."
I guarantee that Clay will not again challenge our garage door.  I know that Esther's decision of surrender was a part of God's plan to save the jewish people from destruction.  

Can't help but wonder a little, what part of God's plan involves and uses my surrender?

So when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa the citadel in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king's palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women.  And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king's palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem.  Esther 2:8-9

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