God’s timing isn’t always our timing. In fact, God’s timing is rarely our timing.
Last week I was offered a fulltime job and it appealed to me because, frankly, I didn’t have a lot going on and my son will be returning to college in a couple of weeks anyway. Why not go and make some money…and jobs are, as we all know, hard to come by.
The job itself is really, really fine. After 2 days in the office, I found the small office environment to be refreshing and friendly. My responsibilities appear to be straight forward and unwavering ~ exactly what I thought I was looking for to fill in the gap of my daytime hours. And just when it all seemed to be going well, God intervened and threw a wrench into my well laid out plan.
Firstly, I received a call asking about my availability to co-lead a group on Wednesday mornings with a woman I would really like to serve with. Secondly, there is a young mom I know who needs some help with her baby now that she has returned to work. This particular mom could really use a break and I’d love to make her life a little easier. Another wonderful friend offered to set up a meeting between myself and her husband who has, incidentally, published 30 books and has no problem chatting with an aspiring author. Finally, yesterday I was approached about being a mentor mom to a group of young mommies on Thursday mornings. All of this in addition to a husband who is encouraging me to NOT work fulltime. What’s wrong with me? All of the signs are there! Spend time working or spend time being fulfilled?
As if all of that weren’t enough, I read a post by the amazing Rick Warren late last night~ not sure why it was tweeted yesterday when the post is actually from January 2010 but I asked God for some clear direction and it seemed that He met me more than halfway all weekend. He littered my path with clear direction. Here’s the post…..now you tell me, stop working fulltime for a meager salary that is just enough to put my family in a hideous tax bracket or follow His path for me.
Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (GW)
Surrendering your life means –
- Following God’s lead without knowing where he’s sending you;
- Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come;
- Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide;
- Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances.
You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don’t have to always be “in charge.”Instead of trying harder, you trust more.
You also know you’re surrendered when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself.
Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships.
You are not self-serving, you don’t edge others out, and you don’t demand your rights.
The most difficult thing to surrender for many people is their money. Many have thought, “I want to live for God but I also want to earn enough money to live comfortably and retire someday.”
Retirement is not the goal of a surrender life — Because it competes with God for the primary attention of our lives. Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money,” and “Wherever your treasure is, your heart will be also.”
The supreme example of self-surrender is Jesus. The night before his crucifixion Jesus surrendered himself to God’s plan. He prayed, “Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”
Jesus didn’t pray, “God, if you’re able to take away this pain, please do so.” He began by affirming that God can do anything! He prayed, “God, if it is in your best interest to remove this suffering, please do so. But if it fulfills your purpose, that’s what I want, too.”
Genuine surrender says, “Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my, life or in another’s life, please don’t take it away!”
This level of maturity doesn’t come easy. In Jesus’ case, he agonized so much over God’s plan that he sweats drops of blood. Surrender is hard work. In our case, it requires intense warfare against our self-centered nature.