by Michelle S. Lazurek
Skimming my hands across the spines of books poking out from the edge of the bookstore shelves, I found these words in the titles: Hustle. Prepare. Become. Wash. Be.
As a type-A, driven person, this spoke to my perfectionistic heart. The thought that I could have the spiritual life I longed for by simply doing more made my heart leap. After all, who doesn’t love the ability to take their life out of God’s hands and into our own?
Then my heart sank.
As someone who jumps at the chance to use my writing ability for God’s glory, I have been in what I would call a holding pattern with God. For years, God had revealed writing project after writing project, much to my delight, as someone who is happiest when she is checking items off her to-do list.
But after many submissions to publishers, there were no contracts. No matter how hard I prayed to God to reveal his future for me as a writer, I heard nothing but radio static.
On top of this, financial stresses went up, and in just a matter of weeks, my life was crumbling around me, and there was nothing I could do about it. But little did I know, I was actually in the best position in my life. God was teaching me how to surrender.
Surrender means I acknowledge, “I’m not the boss. But you are, God.”
Surrender means I no longer have a say.
Surrender means God does what He wants to do, and I embrace His plan.
What God was asking of me was not to do more. Quite the opposite. He was actually asking me to stop working. I needed to lay down my ability to perform and everything else that separated me from a dependent relationship with God. It was only then would He do the impossible.
In Exodus 14:11-14 NIV, the Israelites had that same experience. Faced with the reality of a swarm of armies surrounding them, it seemed impossible they would ever win the battle. But instead of rolling up their sleeves and fighting the battle in their own strength, the Lord told them to do something counterintuitive: “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:10-14 NIV).
When the Israelites laid down their weapons, they made room for God to fight for them. They simply waited and watched as God used an angel to bring darkness and light, turned the sea into dry land and jammed wheels of chariots, thwarting the opposition’s schemes. All because they laid down a need to control and picked up an attitude of surrender, which in turn increased their faith.
When I laid down my desire to control my life, I made room for God to do a miraculous work. After that period where I was in a holding pattern with God, two book contracts I had been hoping and praying for came through. They opened up new doors for me in the writing world I could have never opened myself.
Sometimes the best thing we can do instead of claiming victories for our own is to surrender our will to God’s will, so He can do the impossible in our lives.
Everything is possible for one who believes. Mark 9:23 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award winning author, speaker, pastor’s wife and mother. She is a regular contributor for ibelieve.com and crosswalk.com and is a movie reviewer for Movieguide Magazine. She also is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services. Her newest book I Surrender All (Sort Of) teaches people how to let go of the areas of life that are difficult to surrender and embrace a life of freedom. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.
Join the conversation: Has God worked on your behalf when you surrendered to Him?