Surrender is the turning point in our relationship with God … that place where we come to end of ourselves, let go, and begin to trust God for what we cannot see or control. If we’ve really wrestled with Him to get to this point, then we’ve surrendered in the context of faith that He will be there for us. It doesn’t mean we’re not afraid. It doesn’t mean our feelings aren’t still powerful … or overwhelming. It doesn’t mean even mean we’re okay. It just means that we’re in a new place. It means we’re in a new relationship. It means we’ve heard God say that He is going to catch us … hold us … carry us. And we believe Him.
I grew up swimming in lakes and oceans, and playing in creeks. Scratches, cut toes and punctured feet were fairly common. There was never much point in opening my eyes under the water … the view was surreal, dense, green, and very foreign … pretty, in a scary kind of way. I can laugh now, as I remember those “encounters”, and trying to stay calm by telling myself, “seaweed … seaweed … seaweed”. I can also remember taking a step, only to find myself suddenly treading water with all my might because I had walked into a “drop off”.
In spite of the hazards, we loved it. One of most exciting things to do was to run down the dock as fast as we could and jump into the water. That was an acquired skill. In the beginning, I can remember standing on the edge of that dock, with my reluctant toes barely twelve inches above the gentle ripples. I was terrified … and paralyzed. You never know what lurks in water you can’t see through … or exactly where the bottom is. That’s when my dad would swim to wait at the place where I would go into the water. It made all the difference.
It wasn’t that the fear of leaping into the unknown was gone … or that I was any more confident of what rested beneath the dark surface. It was that I knew whatever happened, he would be there … and he would grab me. When I finally mustered the courage to take the plunge, I was exhilarated. I did it again … and again … until I was finally able to tear down that dock with confidence and do a cannonball. I would come up laughing, and look at my dad. He would smile. I always felt better when he was in the water.
Surrender is an acquired skill too. We have to practice it over and over, trusting that our Father is there waiting for us. In our flesh, we will always feel that twinge of fear … but it gets easier to move forward anyway. So, go ahead and jump!