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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The consequence of full surrender…

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

The consequence of full surrender…

 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD.  Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”  

       2 Chronicles 20:18-20 (NIV)

Today I’ve just got to shout and praise the Lord.  It’s more of what I did yesterday, after learning the consequences of full surrender.  It’s what Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah did after the battle, which by the way, they did not fight, because they cried out to the Lord in their distress and then began to praise Him.  They did nothing, and the consequence of their full surrender…
So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.
Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.  They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lyres and trumpets  2 Chronicles 20:25-28 (NIV)

Let’s go back to yesterday morning. After Monday and Tuesday and my sad little blog, I wasn’t nearly through sinking to my depths.  My grandmother is 92 but frail.   Providing primary care to her as only my mother would is nearly killing her (Mommy, herself recently  recovered from stroke).  Our children have an unending list of needs and desires, and my husband carrys more stress than is healthy.  It’s just life, but when it blows up everywhere at once, I’m lost for a refuge.  We were walking the dog yesterday morning, my husband and I, and that’s usually a safe place.  He was giving me advice and guidance, the kind of things that men, particularly mine, are very good at doing, when I started to cry.  Done. I’d hit the wall. I pulled myself together, bit my tongue to avoid starting a fight (that’s what you do after 18 years of marriage, and I’m proud of it), and kept walking.

After dropping him at the train station, I channeled both King Jehoshaphat and Scarlett O’Hara. I’d cried out to the Lord in my distress, then deliberately postponed thinking about, or doing anything about anything, not necessarily until tomorrow, but at least until later.  I bought coffee.  I drove home.   I planned to take a run.  I went to the park and ran.  I had a lovely, leisurely breakfast with my children.  I took a shower.  I washed my hair.  I twisted and braided my dreads, its own exercise in focus and patience, because I have a lot of long hair.  I made some phone calls, gathering information to move my circumstances forward, but stopped trying to make things happen.  I folded laundry. I relished in full surrender.

How’d my day end? In victory.  I spoke to Mommy, who finally begins to sound rested.  My brother was visiting, taking some of the slack.  Things came back into order, big and small, not because I did anything, but because I didn't while God did. I cannot say that all my enemies have been vanquished yet, and cannot report finding treasure and many days of plunder, but I found rest for my soul, refreshment for my spirit, and the joy of watching the Master move when I got out of the way.  With me in surrender, He had space so I could see His Hands.  I know He doesn’t need me out of the way, but a) that’s how He wants it, and b) when you stop running like a crazy person, you appreciate the beauty of a sunrise because you fully surrender in order to see it unfold. 

Lord, I’m asking that it not take me so long next time to fully surrender.   I am thankful to have seen Your Hands move when mine were finally still.  I am thankful for Your Love as I know You’re always there and I’m always in the way; I don’t mean to be...I am thankful as always for the reminder that God is Good.

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