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  • Writer's pictureKathy Isaac

Surrender, Submit and Serve

Have you ever sat and watched the rushing waters of a spring thaw? I marvel at the sheer force of it. The ice and snow - H2O in solid state - surrenders its form to the warmth of the lingering spring sun, dripping and pooling, as gravity beckons each drop downward, off the mountains and hills. These small capillaries of nature collide to create thunderous streams and rivers, nurturing the flora and fauna as they run down from the highest mountains into the lowest valleys, forcefully carving a lasting legacy of its power over generations, into even the hardest of the diabase rock.

I’ve come to realize that likewise, I'm called to surrender to the warmth of the Son. To submit my own form, and come down off the mountain of my own will. To nurture and serve those I pass along the way, leaving the indelible imprint of my Master as I join others in the growing flow of love.

Surrender, submit and serve. Never in time have these ever been popular words, but in our post-postmodern/current era, these words cut deep. We have been conditioned not to surrender ourselves, our feelings, or our identity to anything other than our own fleeting selves. Submit or subjugate ourselves to no one. And serve? Well, that brings on a whole other discussion. Isn't servitude a long-ago thing of the past?

But I find I do these things every day. Submission is the act of giving something for the decision to be made by others. I usually submit myself to authority. Sometimes even when I don't necessarily agree. For the greater good, I'm told. I submit to traffic lights. I get that one. I've been in the back seat of a moped in countries without traffic lights. I do need to submit to this inanimate controller. I've submitted to the isolation of lock-downs, masks, and vaccinations in an effort to flatten the curve. Apparently, two years after the promised two weeks, we're all still waiting for that curve to flatten. Evidently, I begrudgingly submit to those things I know and understand, as well as to those we're still trying to figure out. How is it then, that I have such a resistance to submit to the One who knows how it will all wash out in the end?

To surrender is to stop resisting. One would assume that you need to surrender before you submit. But truthfully, I'm often forced to submit while continuing to resist. Whether its under the sheer power and force of the one overtaking me, or just the grumbling the accompanies the submission, I've often only stopped resisting long after the control is gone. This is also true of my life with Jesus. I'll still be found resisting even in the midst of a power struggle I've all but lost. And it's on the other side of the struggle where I can concede it would have been much better off to have just gone willingly. It's there I can see the blessing he was leading the combative me to.

Interestingly, my blessings have been rich with service. It's actually when I serve that I'm the happiest, the most joyful, the most content. We were created for service after all. Let me assure you, I don't mean forced labour or slavery. I don't believe in using and abusing workers. But I do believe that the good Lord has put us here to accomplish something. To accomplish his work. We, each of us, have a purpose to fulfill. And it's only when we allow ourselves to surrender our own will to his, submit our all to his authority, and be willing to serve his purposes, that we will become part of a powerful force that will change the landscape of the world as we know it.

Each drop counts.

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