We have a dog.

We have a dog and his name is Chief. He is an adorable 75+ pound chocolate lab who is convinced he is a lapdog.

We affectionately call him, “the brown puppy” although he is 5 years old. Chief is the sweetest puppy EVER and I love everything about him and he is pure chocolate love.

But, not everyone in our family feels the way I do. There were a few instances of questionable behavior such as stealing a rotisserie chicken from the counter. Or when he drank my coffee and ate my Bible and devotional. In all honesty, Chief ate his weight in shoes and just about anything he could wrap his lips around, even our Christmas light. He had a problem and he still has the same problem: he likes just about anything he can chew and swallow.

I, unfortunately, have not helped with this bad behavior. He has trained me well. It’s the eyes, they get me every time.

We have a routine and so far it’s working out great…for the brown puppy. We just do what he says and everything works out just fine. Sometimes it’s just better to surrender even before the battle begins. Yep, I am a wimp. Surrender ain’t easy, but it is doable!

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 (ESV)

Jesus instructed the disciples to pray in this way, and surrender is the very first petition of this prayer. Essentially we must first lay down all that makes us, us.

We are too much. We need to–we must–surrender and become less and less until we are nothing.

On the surface, surrender looks like an impossible task. But, in reality we do it every day, several times a day. Each time we stop at a red stop light or wait our turn in line at the commissary, even when it is wrapped around the store and going up and down the freezer aisle. When we obediently take a number and wait an hour to pick up a prescription we have once again surrendered our will over others and they are not even the Savior of the entire world and we do it anyway, without a fuss.

So, why do we struggle with surrendering a life to the one who gave us life and has already surrendered His for ours?

Not sure what your struggle is, but mine is pride and fear. I honestly believe that sometimes I know better. I know how this situation should turn out and I am afraid that God will not agree with me. It’s that plain and simple for me.

And that is the beauty and strength of surrender; it is no longer in my hands. Once I agree with God and release it I am set free from anxiety, worry, and a crippling sense of what I like to call “not enough.” Not enough faith, not enough forgiveness, not enough of just about anything that is separating me from the plan, purpose, and will of God.

Then surrender runs in and saves me from me!

Surrender captures my faint heart and floods it with a peace I can’t begin to understand. Surrender reminds me that I am indeed in a safe place, the will of a faithful God. In the midst of the storm I get Jesus! Every time I get Jesus!

This week, most of us are currently walking out our season of profound surrender: Lent. We have chosen to surrender something dear to us to the Lord.

In years past I have surrendered mainly things that have to do with food and it has always made my body aware of the sacrifice of surrender. While we are laying down things we must be mindful of the things we can pick up.

Laying down extended screen time? Pick up some extended time of studying your Bible and spending more face time with your family. Laying down some tasty bites? Pick up some healthy eating habits. You get the picture. When we lay something down in surrender, our hands and hearts are ready to receive something new.

Praying that God will reveal Himself in new and amazing ways as you choose to live a surrendered life. <>< Claudia