Ah, surrender. When we hear that word, it often stirs up uncomfortable feelings. As human beings, we like to have things our way. We like to have control (or at least feel like we do). But it’s hard to actually retain some semblance of control over most areas of our lives. And sometimes (okay, most of the time), our way isn’t the best way.
In my quiet times with the Lord this week, I’ve felt a call to a deeper surrender. We’ve been in a period of transitioning to a life that’s completely different from what we’re accustomed to. The biggest change has been Peter’s job. We are so thankful for the Lord’s provision and Peter genuinely likes his new job. However, it’s an adjustment trying to get used to how different it is. Peter has gone from making his own schedule to being gone 6 days a week. This results in us spending a lot less time together. We’re trying to be more intentional with our time, but the biggest struggle has been trying to find a balance between work, family and ministry.
I saw a quote the other day that said, “It’s not about balance. It’s about surrender.” That hit me like a ton of bricks. Here we are, trying to juggle everything, trying to find the perfect balance of all these new schedules, new routines, new things in our lives. But what if we surrendered all those things? If our eyes are on Jesus, He will balance it all perfectly. We don’t figure out the perfect way to balance everything He has called us to. HE DOES!
As I was praying about all of this, I could feel the war raging inside myself. Perhaps you can relate. My heart and mind knew that relinquishing it to God was the only way, but my flesh just wanted to cling tighter (side note, there’s a reason we have to die to ourselves daily – just when you think your selfish nature is gone, it pops up again. Sanctification is a continual, intentional process, not a one-and-done deal). As I was giving it all to God, praying I would withhold nothing, the Lord brought this verse to my mind:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. -Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
An artist can’t make a masterpiece if parts of the canvas are closed off, unavailable to him. In the same way, God cannot make something beautiful out of our lives unless we allow Him to have every inch. With partial surrender, perhaps some parts of your life might be pretty, but ultimately it will be confusing and incomplete, much like a canvas that’s painted in some areas with parts untouched. Can you imagine if Mona Lisa was missing an eye or part of her smile? What if Starry Nights had a blank spot, right in the middle? Would we consider Monet’s Poppy Field painting as beautiful if there were chunks of blank canvas scattered throughout?
It’s no different with God. We have to yield the entire canvas to Him. He is the artist of our lives. When we allow Him full control to shape us into what He wants and to do what He has planned for us, we become His masterpiece. Our beauty that He has created shines through, bringing glory and praise to the Artist who created it.