I wasn’t even so sure how this day would show up; what my mood would be and if I would even see it. Yet now I love that it is here, and I want more of it.
At the beginning of the year, I decided to take my walk with God a notch higher, or maybe two. To the best of my knowledge, it meant spending quality time in prayer, the word and sometimes having moments of solitude. Interestingly God wanted more than that. He wanted my all; a total surrender of my life. Hmm!
Honestly it was too much to give. So, as I would have it, I gave my best but not all of me.
Well God still wanted more and just knew how to get it?.
For us sons and daughters there are things that leave us with no option than to run to God for solace, comfort, strength and wisdom. So, He started pulling strings-strings in the most sensitive areas of my life. The areas that made me run to Him for shelter faster than I envisioned. The kinds that can make you wake up one morning and shout “God issokay I give up!” Literally.
Poor, Clueless Me
All of these was in a space of 5 months, but it felt like a whole year. Initially I wasn’t sure what was happening. I just felt my life slipping away. I couldn’t and didn’t want to talk to anyone as I didn’t have words to describe my ordeal. Honestly.
By this time my health had deteriorated. I had lost weight; my mental health was at the brink of dissipating. Emotionally, I was unstable. Even food, my best pal looked like stones.
I had to give in to God. I just had to.
So, I did
In the ensuing days, I spent time praying, reading more, basking in his ambience under one theme – “Lord I Surrender”. Those words became more than the lyrics of a song. They became my deepest, truest, innermost prayer. I was simply tired of everything and wanted Jesus to have His way in my life.
Some days before I finally gave in to His beckoning, I found a book I bought years ago but never finished reading. It is ‘The Real God‘ by Chip Ingram (one of my favourite authors). Honestly don’t call me a friend if I haven’t introduced this wonderful man to you. Accept my apologies. The good thing is you can look him up now. Read any book he’s written, check his YouTube videos and podcast.
Ouch; Oh, wow!
Now, this period of handing over was heart wrenching, painful and very demanding. I mean this was me going to God and saying “you can have it all. I don’t give a hoot what you make of my life. It’s all yours for the taking.” Definitely not one of the easiest things to do in this generation where you always need to show working for your life. Trust me it was tough. My plans were bound to change but remember Proverbs 19:21 says: Many are the plans of man but only the counsel of the Lord shall stand. Deep within me, I knew it was the best thing that could happen in my life and my walk with God. I looked at the year’s plan, as well as the ones for the next couple of years with so much disdain knowing that they will not amount to anything. And truly so, because as compared to God’s plans they will come to nothing.
There were days the pain was so excruciating and I just didn’t want to follow anymore but He would give me strength to do so. With tears in my eyes and so much pain in my heart I would stand, kneel, sit or lie down and tell God I give him full access and control over my life.
This decision to surrender was the turning point of my life. It was a time of moving from an intellectual and secondary knowledge of God to having an experiential one. I would casually ask God “Who are you?”. With readiness of heart and mind, mind’s eye wide open, I will flip through the pages of Ingram’s book and the scriptures. Then suddenly, boom! I hit the jackpot. I began to experience God in a way no previous encounter of mine will match up.
My most treasured understanding of how God describes Himself is: “I am a Sovereign God”. I do whatever pleases me! My goodness! Who dares make such audacious statements knowing very well what it takes?
Not sure you understand that as much as I do now and that’s fine but here’s the deal.
He says He is the God who knows it all and doesn’t need to flip a page to know what will happen to you, myself and the world in the next second. He knew the full length of your life before you came into being and nothing escapes Him.
This explanation does not even capture God’s sovereignty well enough, but let me still try and summarize my understanding of who God is in these few lines:
He is a sovereign God who has ordained and predestined the days of our lives according to His purposes that we may see His Goodness unfold throughout the changing scenes of life, whether we mourn, rejoice or are indifferent. This He does by remaining Faithful to every word He has spoken and by staying committed to every single word until He honours it. Now God is Holy, and by ourselves we cannot meet His holy standards, yet He desired a relationship with us. So, what did He do? He sent His son to die for us so that we can have a relationship with Him, and enjoy all that He has for us throughout the days of our lives. This is how Just our God is. And this was a demonstration of His Wisdom and Love. He is that Sovereign!
Now take your time and savour that.
Problem No Dey Finish!
This is the God I encountered daily, and worked at knowing more and more. The knowledge I received has since dissipated 90% of the worries in my entire lifetime. Not quite the kind of thing I would have expected at this stage of my life but I must be honest, it’s by far the best thing that’s happened to me in my adult life – finding God.
I know lots of us, if not every one of us, is late in life and plans. But see you have plans until you hear mine, second to none. Or so I thought until I heard my friends’ plans.
Now granted we are His children, granted we call Him Lord and Father, granted we look to Him for sustenance and everything else, why can’t we then sing ” All to Jesus I surrender” and mean every single word? It will work out for our good. All you have to do is go to Him and do this in love. Decide to lay it all at His feet.
Yeah I know you planned to marry by your next birthday. The trip abroad was supposed to happen next month. Charley by now you should have started paying for the land or at least started building. Yeah the car move too dey. It looks like it’s delaying. You are still waiting to take seed with your wife but no show though all tests prove you are both fine. That illness has decided to not respond to any treatment or prayers and the job isn’t coming either.
Guys I can go on and on about the plans that we have for our lives, toppled with the pressure from society, family, friends, social media. Just everywhere! It’s frustrating, I know. I can understand. But what? What has changed with your worrying and trying to fix them? Nothing better. Can’t you see you’ve got more depressed, anxious, angry, sad, grumpy and lost money in the process? Can’t you see you can’t fix it?
Wouldn’t You Rather?
Today I present to you the best approach. Surrender it all to Him, totally. Therein is your trust in God made manifest.
Now I wake up every day with so much joy, just because I surrendered! I walk with so much peace knowing that God doesn’t just have it all figured out but that He has carefully arranged and painstakingly designed the days of my life in a manner that I will see, enjoy and live out His Goodness, Faithfulness, Love, Justice, Wisdom, Holiness. And above all, I wake up knowing He is Sovereign!
These days I see a lot happen and laugh at how the many different things that have happened at different times in my life are playing out to a certain end game. Gracefully.
Let me leave you with two scriptures for meditation.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
And so yes-I can only summarize this in a Smile.