The Surrendered Life

The surrendered life is......

accepting what God gives,
adjusting your life to the unexpected plans,
joyfully laying down your own plans,

not despising the suffering that God gives,
not despising the work that God gives,
not despising the provision that God gives,
not delighting in something else,

looking for joy in what you are given,
listening quietly with open hands,
moving beyond the temporary,
receiving hope in things that are eternal,

letting go of the disappointments,
loving the present gifts,
looking past pain to find joy,
looking past self to find Christ,

......this is an exchanged life.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me."

The time leading up to Easter found us stricken with a strange virus that left us (the parents) quite unable to do anything. Extremely painful swollen joints made even sitting, standing, and sleeping difficult. Opening bottles, bags, and bananas was unthinkable! With much painful pulling we had to take off our wedding rings. Thankfully, we took turns with the virus, leaving only one of us ill at one time so we could take care of the children. Thank you to those who prayed for our recovery!
The real test was not so much the physical pain, but what to do with loss of time. There is so much work to do. We know the seriousness of our language study, we see our unbelieving friends, we know that time is fleeting. It was very difficult for life to come to a sudden halt in our house! At least when we have a cold we can throw some dirty clothes in the washer, and when we have the flu we can boil water to make some soup. But this time, I wasn't able to do anything but sit and feel the pain! I suddenly can relate to those who suffer with arthritis or autoimmune disorders. My thoughts were also on the cross. I could not imagine the depth of Christ's pain and the lingering suffering leading up to his death. And in a unique way, the physical suffering brought me into deeper fellowship with Him.

As for the "loss of time," God is able to redeem what Satan tried to scheme. I believe it is no coincidence that our family becomes ill at important times. God is able to work everything to conform to the purposes of His will, Ephesians 1:11. God is sovereign, and His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are deeper than my thoughts. What to do with the suffering? Embrace it and trust Him. Habakkuk, whose name means "embrace," knew that terrible suffering was coming to him and his people. And he chose to say, "Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places." Hab. 3:16-19

"Suffering is a mystery, but not so much a mystery that I cannot trust you." Joni Eareckson Tada

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