Monday, November 16, 2020
40 Days of Proclamation – Acceptance & Surrender
Laurie Bubela Waligura
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18 NIV
“Fear not, For I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10 NKJ
As the new year began, I knew I needed to trade my fears for a healthy replacement from God. God led me to focus on Acceptance and Surrender to Him. I think as Christians we think of these words in our moments of conversion, but I needed to apply these words more deeply. I needed to allow God to replace my fear with a joyful acceptance of what currently is my life. I needed to accept what is now my past, what I am currently living, and what my future brings. I needed a better understanding of God’s love so that I could fully surrender to where I am. I asked God to replace my fear with a better focus on His “perfect love”. As I saw in these verses, I needed a deeper understanding of the perfection that is His love. The more I focus on His Perfect love, the less I turn my attention inward on my thoughts, desires, and faults. In turn, the more easily I can accept and surrender. Not because of anything I have or haven’t done but because of who my God is.
My last few years have not been years that were in my playbook for my life or the life of my family. I have spent much time wrestling with my situation. Growing up I wanted nothing more than to be a good wife and mother and raise a family in a healthy home. Instead, I find myself in my 50s and divorced. In 2015 without much warning my 27-year marriage ended suddenly. I am currently raising three daughters who are now in college (my words for 2019 were provision and protection 😊). To say that I have relied on God’s presence, sovereignty, and guidance is an understatement. My story is about a journey with a loving father who meets our every need, and provides, and makes a way as He continues to protect my precious girls and me. But I still deal with times of fear.
Difficulty and unplanned events are not unique to my life or to yours. God uses these potentially fear-filled times to reveal Himself to us if we laser focus on Him and direct our energy toward seeing His perfect love. We have difficulties that we didn’t ask for in this sin-sick world. We may have to accept and surrender in a variety of situations. Whether we deal with broken relationships, difficult jobs, illness, or unmet desires we can surrender to a God who loves us perfectly. When we focus on ourselves or on the people/things around us, we miss the bigger picture. If I focus on myself, I easily sink into disappointment, guilt, or fear. These feelings can poison my day. Focusing on past mistakes keeps me from seeing God in action now. Focusing too much on worries about tomorrow can blur the beauty of today. Focusing sharply on God’s love instead allows me to accept today and direct my energies to His purpose for my day. Surrender begins with acceptance, and that which we hold is dear is the most difficult to surrender if we don’t understand that God’s perfect love is the antidote to our fears. I didn’t ask for this time in my life, but I’m living it, so I want to accept what has been allowed into my life and surrender to what God can do in it.
Further study: Psalm 31:1 & 2, Psalm 31:14-17, Deuteronomy 31:6, Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Kings 8:58(The Msg), Psalm 23
https://youtu.be/bqTUPQhIEUY Lauren Daigle – Your Wings
https://youtu.be/QnC7z03QkEM Kari Jobe - The Blessing
Help us to live our lives in this world as You would have us. You put opportunities in each of our days to grow closer to You and to experience more of You so that we can share Your amazing love in each of our days. Help us to embrace those times when we experience new dimensions of your love. Help us to accept the difficulties You allow in our days and help us to grow from them. Help us to surrender to where You have us on days that we would rather be in different situations. Help us to remember that Your ways are above our own. You put each of us here for purposes that we may yet to understand. Help us to accept where we are and to surrender to where You are taking us.
In Jesus’ precious name we pray