The Bible is full of paradoxes. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born the child of a teenage virgin. Jesus said the first will be last and the last first. Throughout Scripture and every single day, God uses the simple to shame the wise. But perhaps the paradox that we encounter most in this life is that there is freedom in surrender.
My husband is having an MRI as I write this to investigate a possible muscle tear near his hip that’s been bothering him for two months now. The first few weeks were tough for him. He was obsessed with the nagging pain and discouraged each morning when he woke up to find the ache had not subsided. But more recently he’s been in a better place mentally and spiritually. Not because the pain is gone, it’s not. He’s better because he’s surrendering to the Lord that if His plan includes chronic pain, Will knows God’s grace has been and always will be sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). That doesn’t mean he’s not going to try to get better. He may end up having surgery for it, but the freedom that I see in him, because he’s surrendered, is inspiring.
But oftentimes people won’t surrender. Even some pretty devout followers of Christ. They tell God “NO! I will not have that. I will not give up this. I cannot. I cannot. I cannot.”
But the message of the Bible is that “Oh yes you can, but only by My Grace.”
Today on the Today Show I witnessed an incredible, truly extraordinary picture of this truth. Watch this and see that there is freedom in surrender (Jill Conley and I know each other because our closest childhood friends are sisters). I don’t think you can watch this beautiful woman and not acknowledge that life is full of paradoxes, that there is indeed freedom in surrender. But you can try. Either way, please watch and please pray for Jill.
Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your spiritual act of worship.”