Less problems. More money. Less pain and sickness. A better job. More property. More connections. People doing what we want them to do. Subtle manipulative behaviors. Blatant manipulation. A sense of having control over our lives.
Peace. It cannot be bought, created, or found in any of the ways mentioned above. Temporary periods that are absent of quarrels and worry can be achieved through such means. However, lasting peace is available only through the absence of trying to control what happens to and around us. Surrendering our efforts to maintain control is a very scary thing.
Surrender is directly tied to trust. We only allow ourselves to be vulnerable to those we trust. Can God be trusted when we are faced with circumstances or relational issues that could lead to dire consequences? That’s the underlying, burning question when we face difficult times in our lives. Many people would balk at the idea that they might struggle to trust Him. Many of us have been taught that we should never doubt and always trust. “Fake it until you make it”, we are told. Therefore, we dismiss such possibilities because we are afraid to admit failure when it comes to trusting Him. But we do. Life is just too difficult for us not to face a wrestling match with our faith. Admitting our struggle is okay. God desires that we acknowledge it to ourselves, to Him, and to others that can walk with us through those times. Authenticity is crucial if we are to break free and experience peace. This step of faith is synonymous with humility.
It is impossible to surrender our self-efforts to control our lives without first considering what’s necessary for trust to ever take place. Trust is a product of being loved, but not just the idea of love…or knowing that I am loved. Trust is the product of love that is experienced as freely given in abundance when we don’t do a thing to earn it. If being loved is a reality for me, I will be prone to trust…to surrender control. Does my Father in Heaven love me? Truly love me? Unconditionally? Is He proud of me? Even though I mess up….a lot!? Is He concerned about my daily life…even those little things that seem to throw me completely off course? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Our identity in Christ is founded on being loved. We are loved. He is trustworthy. As we embrace His love, we trust Him. As we trust Him, we live loved, free, and surrender control in favor of experiencing peace.
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