Surrender – it’s not something I do well. When playing games, I hate to surrender – not that I’m competitive or anything! When working, I hate to surrender to anything less than the best. I can’t stand to let someone I don’t respect have power over me. I could go on and on – but to say the least surrendering is not a forte of mine. And some would say that’s good. But when it comes to walking with Jesus…not so much.
It was a Good Friday many years ago. Services were over, the sanctuary was dark and quiet. I went and sat in front of the cross. Longing for what I wasn’t exactly sure. I just knew that I was tired. It had been a long week and Easter morning was still coming. As a youth director in a large church there was still a lot to be done before things were “over.” I was physically tired, but I was also soul weary.
In those moments of silence, I heard these words – It all means nothing if I don’t have your heart. And I realized all the striving, all the working long hours, trying to excel, do my best, be the best…it all meant nothing to Jesus if he didn’t have my heart. Surrender.
I want to do things my way and have Jesus love me for it. Jesus comes to me, already loving me and wants my heart…not my offerings, not my work, not my attitude or lack thereof…all he wants is my heart. Surrender. And if I’m honest I still don’t do it very well.
This coming week, we once again will take the journey from the palms of Sunday to the cross of Friday…and be asked along the way to surrender…to let go of all our strivings, our to-do lists, our idols of busy-ness and need more…and simply bring our hearts. Surrendering to the love of Jesus and his grace. It seems so simple…yet is so hard.
The cross we face isn’t a place of shame…it’s a place of grace. So come, be brave, risk transforming your life, embracing the love of Jesus…and surrender. – Pastor Jane Jebsen