Surrender and Serve
Luke 1:38 ESV
John 19:25 (Mary at the Cross)
From the Jar
I read a book several years ago that had a huge impact on my life.
It was written by Corrie ten Boom.
The title of the book was Tramp for the Lord.
In her book she wrote, “"There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still” and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies.” (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/408557)
I was at a point in my life where God was asking me to serve and waiting for me to decide how much I was willing to surrender in order to follow Him.
When I first read the book I was in my early twenties. I saw her on a television show and heard her speak. I heard her horrific story.
See, she lived in the Netherlands during World War II with her father and older sister Betsie. They were followers of Jesus. Many of their neighbors were Jewish. As I recall from the book, during the war Corrie and her family started noticing that their Jewish neighbors were disappearing. When they discovered the Nazi’s were capturing them and putting them into concentration camps, they decided to get involved. They had a large old house that had hidden rooms.
Gradually that’s where they hid six of their Jewish neighbors. The Ten Boom house was raided in February 1944 and Corrie, Betsie, and their father were imprisoned. Corrie’s father became sick and died ten days after they were imprisoned. Corrie and Betsie were taken to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in September of 1944. Betsie died in early December shortly before Corrie was released in late December in 1944.
Corrie was the only one of the three who survived. In her books and messages she spoke about how to forgive those who are our enemies.
I knew how much she had suffered. I knew who her enemies were during World War II and I thought, ‘if she can trust God to help her forgive her enemies for what they did, I can surely trust God with my life.’
Later she did write several books and she traveled the world telling their story. In her book “Jesus is Victor” (1985) she wrote, “As a camel kneels before his master to have him remove his burden at the end of the day, so kneel each night and let the Master take your burden.”
Corrie intentionally worded the sentence so the reader would know we kneel and ask, then God takes our burden from us.
You are the one who needs to make the decision to give your burdens to God.
Why is that?
Because God doesn’t force us to do anything.
God doesn’t force us to serve in His army.
It has to be our decision to serve.
It has to be our decision to surrender.
It has to be our decision to let God “in”.
I also knew surrendering my life to be in the army of the Lord was my decision. I knew that my level of commitment was my decision as well.
At the time I was struggling with my decision (and my level of decision) I had three small children. I had my fourth child soon after. I lived 30 minutes from my childhood home.
I was comfortable but I knew God wanted more.
I did surrender. I told God I would go wherever I was needed.
I can’t say it was always easy, but I can tell you that each time we moved to a new church in a new town, God was with us. God was with each one of us. God had a specific plan for all of us.
While I know my decision was not easy, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult life would have been for Mary the Virgin, Mother of Jesus.
An Angel of the Lord came to her and told her what God was about to do, she was willing but was confused about how a Virgin could give birth to a child. The Angel assured her that God had a plan.
When the Angel assured Mary by giving her a few details about God’s plan, in Luke 1:38 Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
Mary accepted God’s plan.
She was willing to serve.
She surrendered to God.
At the time Mary surrendered she did not know how much she would suffer when her boy was arrested, imprisoned, was put on trial, and was sentenced to die on the cross.
Through it all, Mary remained steadfast. She was at the foot of the cross when her boy died (John 19:25).
Mary accepted God’s plan, she willingly served, and she surrendered everything to God.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Surrender and Serve
Is God calling you to serve in some way? If so, pray and consider your answer. Whatever you decide, surrender your decision to God.
In God, Deborah