Thursday, November 17, 2011

Surrendered Seconds

I have found the paradox,
that if you love until it hurts,
there can be no more hurt,
only more love.

Mother Teresa

"Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies..." *

I am such a little seed but I cling to life with such tenacity. I have embraced that falling and dying part on one level...that part of my brain that thinks it is a great idea for everyone else.

That part of me that wants an offended friend to cut me some slack when my behaviors and opinions don't line up with the Word and I am hanging on tight. That part that begs a put out spouse to believe I was only kidding when I laid the sharp edge of my tongue against his unwalled heart. That part that will do anything for Christ if He will let me have my way. The part that loves Him in the beauty of holiness but the holiness is my own.

What a stinker you might say and I could cringe and get all self protective and hang on and do everything else except die. I will not go gentle. I will not go at all. Not if left to my own way. I am not alone here. Neither would you. Surrender does not have a large sales force for a good reason. It lacks sufficient popularity.

It takes a God who is the essence of love itself to love people through us while we struggle to get out of His way. It takes a God who laid His own life down to show us the way to the surrendering place. The place where life and death trade places. The place where loving until it hurts, heals. That place will always and forever be Calvary.

Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Galatians 2:20 Message

It seems to me that living a surrendered life is really about living surrendered seconds. It is Christ living as Lord within us moment to moment throughout our lifetime. Years of walking with Him are really days of coming into agreement with His will. Mary's terrifyingly obedient, "Be it done unto me according to Thy word," was the result of her Godward leanings over the years of her young life up to that point. Paul's Galatians declaration, "I am not going back," was a matter of daily renewal or as he put it, "dying daily."

So there are people I could nurse a spite over and I would, but I would have to look away from Calvary to do so. There are people I could serve for duty sake but there is Christ washing all those dirty feet and putting His heart into it. There are people I could love until it gets uncomfortable but there is Christ urging me past the pain to the joy. There is always Christ showing me how to please the Father in the moment. "The life lived by faith in the Son of God." A daily walk to Calvary and renewed surrender. It all passes through Him.

I am seed made willing.
I have not come gently
but I have come.


* Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal. John 12:24 Message


  1. Ah, yes ..."that part of me that will do anything for Christ, as long as he will let me have my way.."

    I recognize that inclination! Blessings to you - and thank you for your kind comments on Spots and Wrinkles. ...Marsha

  2. " Surrender does not have a large sales force for a good reason. It lacks sufficient popularity." Oh, this is so, so true! To surrender goes against our nature, indeed.

    I appreciate your heart in these words you shared. Your transparency shines through with genuine warmth.

  3. I just studied this in 1 John today! It takes His love through us to others...that is the key!

    Love your words here! Thanks for linking up!

  4. "It is Christ living as Lord within us moment to moment throughout our lifetime." Amen. With His help and how He loves me in the messes I make.

    I connected with what you wrote about needing that slack. We all need that slack, grace, in our day-to-day.

    (visiting via WriteItGirl)

  5. "It seems to me that living a surrendered life is really about living surrendered seconds." Yes!

    This is a beautifully written post, and a great portrait of following Jesus. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I am not willing. . .but I am willing to be made willing. . . "But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we're doing is giving back what we've been given from your generous hand. As far as you're concerned, we're homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface—you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you." 1 Chronicles 29:14-17 (The Message)