“Jesus does not demand great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude.”
St. Thérèse de Lisieux
Surrender. It is a very misunderstood word and especially so in the context of our relationship with God and spiritual growth. According to Webster’s Dictionary surrender means to “yield one’s power to another” or “to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, or emotion” (among other definitions).
It is often confused with the word resignation; which means “a passive accepting or unresisting attitude.”
Surrender, contrary to popular belief, is not passive. Surrender in the spiritual world is a proactive expression of our faith in Abba’s loyal love, a movement and action of trust. In order to even surrender at all we must first have some level of ‘power’ – as the definition implies – because we cannot give away that which we do not have. The greatest power we do have is our ability to surrender to Abba, for in doing that all else follows suit.
Resignation, on the other hand, is a passive “inaction” not based on faith but rather fear. Resignation is quitting, surrender is giving.
Many of us see and experience the concept of surrender more like resignation. Resignation is giving in. Surrender is giving up…as in giving (it) up to Abba.
Resignation can lead to resentment. Surrender can lead to freedom. And as anyone who has ever felt the burn of resentment knows there is little freedom in resentment. But those who have struggled with something (addiction, unforgiveness, and fear) and then surrendered it over to Abba knows the sweet freedom that follows. When Jesus says we shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set us free, he meant it. But understand also that when Jesus said that the Truth would set us free, he was also talking about himself and the freedom that comes from our absolute surrender to him.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux simplifies so much of what I am trying to say: Jesus desires surrender and gratitude. For in truth, when we surrender to Jesus gratitude flows from us because through surrender we experience a deepening awareness of Abba’s love for us and the sacrifice that Jesus went through in order to bring us back Home.
So, let’s surrender all to Jesus and feel the love of Abba flow…