I hear the words of the Dutch saintly woman echo in my ear, “don’t wrestle with God, just nestle with God.” I choose not to. I choose to wrestle, like Jacob with the angel. I too will walk away limping from this, like I have before time and time again.
I do not surrender easily. The words from others living recovery whisper above the din in my heart: Surrender to Win. Poppycock says my brain; the same brain mind you that told me in my early thirties that drinking was okay, I could handle it, even though my father and his father were raging alcoholics. Really? I am supposed to listen to this particular brain of mine, the one that gets me twisted in knots and vainly trying to outwit God? But still I do listen to this fractured brain of mine.
My brain says surrender and lose everything. Jesus says in order to truly live, I must die. My brain says, gimme, gimme, gimme, I need some more. Jesus says give, give, give and you will receive good measure, over flowing.
Hmmm, but my brain is a whack job. If I am honest, in the last few days I have entertained my brain far too often, listening to its lies and bravado and inconceivable notions all while pushing God’s gentle voice to the wayside.
My heart has been patiently waiting in the wings, whispering words of hope and truth, words like “God is with you no matter how you feel; the Kingdom is within; you must die every day in order to truly live; surrender to win; I AM with you always, All Ways!”
What?!? No way. Not that. Could it be that the message of recovery is finally taking hold in my heart and beginning to become part of my life? Surrender to win is not usually what my heart would whisper to me. But today it has been.
I hate surrendering because most of the time I confuse surrender with resignation, and resignation leaves a bittersweet, metallic taste in my mouth. They are not the same. Surrender is active, faith-filled. Resignation is passive, fear-filled and far too often comingled with anger.
So, which do I believe? My brain which got me into this mess or the God Who has been my ever-present help in a time of need?