The Glad Surrender

What do you want from the Lord, and what does he ask of you today? Does it feel as if it is too much—or maybe too little?

Naaman, commander of the Syrian army, “was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper” (2 Kings 5:1). Hearing of a prophet in Israel named Elisha, he went to him for a cure. He expected Elisha to come out, call on the LORD, wave his hand over the leprosy, and heal him.

Instead, Elisha sent a messenger saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean” (verse 10).

Naaman’s response was anything but admirable. He went off in a rage. But his servants lovingly reprimanded him, rescuing him from his folly. They challenged him: “It is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it: has he actually said, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” (verse 13)

And what a great word Jesus has spoken to us—repent and believe! Turn from your sins! Do we scoff, because so little is asked of us? Or because what is asked of us, isn’t what we want to hear? We want something, but not at the expense of our pride.

It took humility and faith for Naaman to take those seven dips in the Jordan. It takes casting off pride and lowering one’s self to come to Jesus and lay it all down. It takes child-like faith, being born again. But the reward—oh, sweet reward!—is great. Our hearts, like Naaman’s body, are “restored like the flesh of a little child” and made clean.

Maybe the Lord is asking you to come to him today, to lay down your burden. If he is, it is on his terms. It is a surrender, but always a glad surrender.

And it is one to accustom oneself to, for to live as a Christian entails daily acts of surrender.

Like Mary, when the angel Gabriel told her she would be the mother of Jesus, it is a daily confession: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

Whether that word is cancer or COVID, infertility or an unexpected pregnancy. Whether it is a public-school classroom, online classes, or home education. Whether it is singleness or marriage. Whether it is a new job or job loss. Whether it is more waiting or hoped-for answers.

It is humbly acknowledging one’s position before God: “I am the servant of the Lord.” It is putting one’s faith and trust in the goodness of God’s character and word: “let it be to me according to your word.”

It is saying, “In my body. In my home. In my past, present, and future, I am yours. Have your way.”

Whatever you want from God, are you able to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? (Matthew 6:9-10). Can you trust him to choose what is best for you, as well as the best way to bring it about? Not at the neglect of what you can do, but trusting the outcome, the final word to him?

For trust is God’s call to a Christian. He asks nothing less than everything. He becomes greater, whatever the cost.

But oh, the sweet reward! Peace with God. Sufficient grace. Steadfast love. Abiding joy. And eternal hope.

“Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee…” (Francis Havergal)

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