“Give it to God.”
“God’s got this.”
“God will make it right.”
Yes. Amen and amen.
These platitudes make excellent inspirational pictures on social media. And I fully agree with them. I just wonder sometimes, do we really understand what it looks like to give it to God? Do we agree with these statements because they produce good feelings, or because we absolutely trust our God, no matter what?
I think we have the best intention to live out statements, but we lack understanding about what it really means. Too often, we (I) “give to God” our prearranged picture of how we want the situation to go. We trust God to take our picture and work the logistics of making our picture a reality. After all, the Bible says that God will give us the desires of our heart, and that He will work all things out for good.
In essence, we say, “God, here are my desires and here’s what I think is good for me. I trust you to work it out. Thank you in advance for giving me what I ask.”
I mean, obviously we never actually say that. We know we aren’t supposed to say that. But in our hearts, that’s really what we mean. We monitor the progress of the situation closely, and we try to redirect everything back to our original picture. We’ve “given it to God” in word, but we haven’t given God our expectation or assumptions. We haven’t let go of our perfect picture.
In reality, “giving it to God” requires our full surrender.
Surrendering our definition of what is “good.”
Surrendering our assumptions about what is best.
Surrendering our expectations of certain results.
Surrendering our personal desires for God’s bigger plan.
Sometimes, we are too quick to claim Romans 8:28 (all things work together for good…), and forget about Romans 12:1-2 (present yourself as a sacrifice…). We have to remember that complete surrender to God is necessary to see His best. Once we have truly given all our expectations, assumptions, predictions, and preference to God, He really can work on our behalf, to ultimately bring Himself glory.
In the midst of hard circumstances, it is so hard to give up our illusion of control and just trust God to work. We have such a narrow perspective of what life should be. It’s even harder to remain surrendered when things seem to get worse as time passes.
This is a lesson that I have to learn over and over again. Somewhere in my mind, I am convinced that surrendering my picture of what I want, surrendering what I think is best, means that I am lowering my expectations. Surrender often feels like giving up. In reality, surrendering my expectations to God removes my limitations, giving God complete freedom to act in ways beyond my understanding. I know from my experience that the way God moves doesn’t always (or even normally) match our picture. My life is not what I thought it would be. My life does not reflect what I told God I wanted. My life does not show what I thought was good.
It is better.
I absolutely believe that God IS working on behalf of those who are faithful to Him. He IS going to make all things right. He IS going to bring beauty from ashes. He IS faithful.
God’s got this – but we first must surrender everything.