This past weekend, Sarah talked about the opposite of surrender. She talked about an issue so many of us deal with. The issue of being a control freak, or more nicely put a “control expert.” I have to admit, I tend to like to control stuff (Maybe you do too?), but I’m not crazy about the word “freak.” I definitely prefer “expert.”
Although, “freak” makes me think of the musical, The Greatest Showman, written about P.T. Barnum, the founder of the Barnum & Bailey circus. Barnum was the penniless child of a tailor but had the imagination and vision to create “show business.” He searched for those that society had labeled “freaks” and transformed them into “The Greatest Show on Earth.” He knew he couldn’t change the appearance of the performers, but he could probably change society’s opinion of them.
In Barnum’s adventure to make his dreams come true, he encountered pushback from many in society. He didn’t let that stop him from his dreams though. He pushed forward, solved problems, and failed at times, but he continued chasing his dream.
There is freedom in stepping in and doing what we can, but we all have situations that are beyond us. Beyond our education or expertise. Beyond our ability to manipulate. In those situations, we need to surrender what is beyond our control. In Barnum’s case, he surrendered and allowed others in his life to step in and help. (At least in the movie portrayal.) As a Christian, we need to also surrender control to God.
During her weekend message, Sarah Bucher spoke about understanding the difference between knowing if it’s ours to control or God’s alone. Another way to ask this is, “Have I done all I can?”
You may have heard of the “Serenity Prayer.” It is a prayer of surrender and emphasizes Sarah’s points.
“Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr (emphasis added)
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
When we face difficult circumstances in life, let’s learn all we can about it. Let’s Google it! Let’s use it. Let’s get counsel. Let’s pray about it. Let’s lead ourselves well, our families well, our teams well. Throughout it all though, let’s give it to God, and when we have done all we can, let’s get out of God’s way and surrender it to him. Let Go and Let God!
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
What have you surrendered to God, knowing you cannot change it?
Where have you stepped up and had the courage to change something?
Where have you had the wisdom to let go and let God?
Tell God what you need and thank him for all the things he has done.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me surrender to you and not be a control freak! Help me understand that happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Christ. Thank you for loving me and teaching me! Amen.
This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education having served her community on a district school board and is currently serving on a board that sponsors charter schools across the state. She and her husband have three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and four grandsons.
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