Surrendering to ✝

Kaylee Hennessey

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Indeed, I count all things as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, of Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ…and be found in Him…that I may know Him…” Philipians 3:7-10

To surrender ‘you’ to the Glorious Lord—oh, what a vocation. As Paul, I surely cannot say I have apprehended, yet for me, I know this: I press on. Sometimes that is all that I think I can do. I often attempt to entertain the image of pressing on with endearing strength and radiating glorified face—the essence of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yet to my avail, my faith is small. If I can only wake tomorrow, and rise despite the mundane routine—this shall be a wonder.

“Oh Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee. I give Thee back this life I owe, That in Thine ocean depths its flow, May richer fuller be.” George Matheson

The greatest struggle for the Christian is to believe that He is. HE IS. He is Who He says He is, He will do what He said He will do. And, it is Him and Him alone.

But could His ways be the fulfillment my soul desires? Could He penetrate the spaces that linger on, with the richest and fullest blessing? If I lay my life down, could He be enough?

Oh shudder soul! The questions remain. I have found that asking the Lord the honest questions are rewarded with the tenderest of answers. Our Love desires us to acknowledge our struggles and cast them upon Him. He did not only die for us, He lives for us—this is His unmerited favor and ultimate glory. He lives to fulfill every promise made to us. He lives “to never leave us nor forsake us,” embodying the role of being “our very present help in time of trouble,” “a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” And He desires us to be wide open. Bare. That HE might stand erect in the spaces of our heart.

I only know this desire when I am stripped of my certainty, and fall numbly down—this physical life leads to hopeless places. Death, destruction, rejection: render us as nothing. Senseless crumbling of beloved hopes, upheld by the deepest roots of our heart—certainly, the morning can dawn with the harshest change. Is this what He meant when He promised He’d fill me? Hopelessness can produce the ugliest of dispositions.

The lesson for this ‘baring’ of ourselves, is truly what it is, if we can see it as such. The Lord must remove our capacities to love, for Him to fill us with His love. For His heart to LIVE through us, intimately encountering the people around us. “Is this why joy hurts—God stretching us open to receive more of Himself? (Ann Voskamp)” Oh, but if I could express to you the joys that have been produced by these bare-moments! Truly, “though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes (wildly full) in the morning.” Do not be afraid of bareness, dearheart. He loves us fiercely, and cannot leave us to ourselves: before and certainly after this great exchange.

How deep this exchange! Obedient surrender is the oxymoron of the physical world, but in the spiritual dimensions, there are gains that cannot be expressed in any earthly language. It is the speech of the soul that takes over their transcription, and the fullness of their coming leads us closer to the Promised Land. Courage, spring forth! This posture of heart is where it is needed most. Exchanging the dead ways for the characteristics of glory. “Being transformed by the renewing of our mind.” Do you understand our absolute dependency on Him, in this process? Yet, out of love He gives us the choice: “Will you surrender this so I can penetrate here?” We will never know what we are missing if we do not have the courage to say, “Yes,” to Jesus, and, “No,” to what is seemingly good in our sight. I have learned that it is one thing to say, “Lord take my life,” at the climax of spiritual high, and quite another to brokenly yield, “Yes Lord, I surrender _______.” Something changes in the soul when dear things are surrendered for the unseen.

Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, you must trust and obey.

Day by day, this is my progression. Yet day by day, I am led higher. “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” {Proverbs 24:16}—His grace destroys my greatest resolve, and leaves me desperate for His strength. There is no other way, but His. Trust and obey.

Kaylee (shown above), 22, has worked on the mission field in both Guatemala and Cambodia. She is currently living in Vero Beach, Florida studying nursing to serve further on the mission field.