In the time I have been at the Ranch I have learned so much. I have learned so much about me, who I am. I have learned to see hope in life and, more importantly, I have learned to know more about God. I have also learned about surrendering to love. LOVE. What is love? Some say love is an emotion. But what I would say... love is God’s character, not simply an emotion or feeling. God is love. And because we are made in God’s image, love is who we are. So, we see that love is a good thing. So, why are we so scared to surrender to love? Even though we would think people would take the news that God is for us as good news, really we don’t. We fear love, for sure such perfect love, because such perfect love calls for surrender. Perfect love loves sinners, redeems failures, delights in second chances and fresh starts, and never tires of pursuing lost sheep… waiting for prodigal children, or rescuing those damaged by life and left on the sides of its paths. Yet, as humans, our tendency is to run our own life and pay our own way. So unconditional love is unrealistic and frightening. We want to earn things. We want to earn the love we look for. So, we look for a love that we can understand. We create a God with our imagination… a God completely different than the Christian God. But God wants to have a relationship with us. He doesn’t just want our good behaviors. If He would have just wanted good behaviors, He could have created some automatic machines. But no, He wanted something enough like Him to make a relationship possible so He created us. God is a God of love. God wants us to surrender to Him. And when we surrender to Him, it makes it a lot easier to surrender to the circumstances around us.
“I can do this all by myself,” said the little girl. “Here, let me help you,” says Mom. “No, Mom. I can do it all by myself. I don’t need help.” The little girl tried and tried and she just couldn’t get it. She finally decided to give up and ask Mom for help. Her mom came and said, “See, it’s okay to let me help you. Sometimes we can’t do everything by ourselves.” This is just an analogy of God and us. Sometimes we have problems or struggle with something, and we think to ourselves, “I don’t need help. I can do it all myself.” God is there, waiting for us to ask Him for help. If we surrender and stop trying, it’s giving up…giving up the things we can’t handle and are supposed to let Him deal with. For myself, it’s hard to give my struggles and problems to Him because there’s always the nagging thought “what if He won’t take it… what if He doesn’t want to help me.” He does. He is there even when I don’t feel like He is. Sometimes we think that God won’t let us break or have too many problems. He probably will. That’s being suspicious of God and all the things He does, doubtful that He won’t let us be overwhelmed. He sometimes lets us be overwhelmed to try to get us closer to Him. You have to remember… God made you and is making something beautiful out of your life. You just have to trust Him.
The girl felt lost, afraid, and lonely. She didn’t know what to do. She had just lost her job, her sister was very sick, and her best friend had just left her. She felt overwhelmed and distracted. She decided she should go out on a vacation. She packed her things and headed for the old cabin in the forest. She got there and unpacked and then decided to go take a walk. She walked for quite a long time and then realized she was lost. She looked all over for the trail, but there was none. She sat down and began to cry. Why does life have to be so hard? And then she remembered the verse… Psalm 40:1“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.” She began to pray.“ Dear Heavenly Father, You know what is going on. You know I haven’t been putting You first, and distractions have gotten in the way. You know the purpose of me being here. Please show me what I need to see and learn what I need to learn. I’m here listening to You now. Thank You for all You’ve given me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.” The birds began to sing and the sun shone down and lit the path that she had missed before. She was calm and at peace with herself. She thanked Him and went on her way. This is how it is in life. We let distractions get in the way of God. She found her way with His help and you can, too.