I sat reading in a coffee house the other day. I was totally engaged in my book, and the wonderful coffee I sipped, when the atmosphere of my quiet surroundings changed rather abruptly. A cry. A plaintive wailing began in the corner of the coffee house across from where I sat. A baby was making his or her displeasure with life known to anyone who cared to listen (or even those who weren’t particularly interested in listening.)
As a dad and now a grandpa for many years, I was immediately familiar with the commotion. The sound of a tired baby fussing is one I have heard many, many times. There’s something specific about a baby crying when its tired. It’s not a hungry cry. And it’s not an ‘I’m hurt or injured, and somebody needs to come check on me,” kind of cry. What I heard in the coffee house the other day was an “I’m tired. I’m sleepy. I need to go to sleep, but I have no intention of giving up until total exhaustion overtakes me” kind of cry. I watched a young mother take her child in her arms, cradle and bounce and rock that baby, whispering some non-descript tune in the ear of that little angel, until … silence. Baby finally gave up, and went sound asleep.
Reminded me a bit of those disciples of Jesus, the night he was betrayed. You may remember their story. They’d had a great ‘last supper’ with Jesus, and then walked into the night and the Garden of Gethsemane. Those disciples all got comfortable in that cool night air. But, their heavy eyes were too much for them. The gave in to sleep. No one had to rock them, or hold them close. They didn’t need some soft song, whispered in their deafened ears. They easily gave up staying awake, and slept like babies.
Not him, though. The place Jesus found, there in that garden wasn’t comfortable. It was agonizing. No mother there to console him. No angels singing to him. Giving up would have been so easy. Giving in to fear and what he was about to face would have been so reasonable for any man.
But, for the Savior of the World, giving up was … unthinkable.
That’s not to say that ‘surrendering’ didn’t enter his mind. He was well aware that giving up would be a tragedy of unimaginable proportion. But surrendering to His father’s plan meant that he would submit himself to the authority, and beating, and humiliation he knew was awaiting him.
There’s a big difference between giving up, and surrendering. They’re not the same. Jesus spent his entire life on this earth in one long walk of total surrender. To neglect surrendering to his father’s will and plan would have meant giving up on the entire purpose for which he came.
But there’s a world of difference between giving up, and surrendering. The thought of giving up never crossed his mind. It’s crossed my mind, though. In fact, I’ve been tempted many times to give up, get cranky, fuss and fume like a tired baby. But surrendering to His plan? That’s always been a challenge. I’m pretty good at giving up; but surrendering my life to him on a daily basis … is another thing altogether.
2 thoughts on “Surrender”
After a night and another night I have been in the emergency room. Now I’m headed to a VA appt. to manage back pain honestly earned (In my mind. I’ve been close to giving up, but I could never take my life, given to me so gracefully, and my perpetual life’s work has been, int he majority, praise, adoration and other sacred duties. I feel unworthy sometimes. My life is so good, and I don’t know that I’ve earned that. Butt when the pain overtakes m, I don’t know how to live with amount of pain I”m facing I have plenty of drugs to knock it out temporarily. Pray for me
Pray for me after two days in the emergency room. It’s just pain, but it robs my already diminished attention span. Going through a rough time. Hope all is well. Off to the VA. I’m very proud of what you’ve made of yourself. I never doubted, but it’s nice to know that you have touched so many lives.
I must go now. Again, a prayer would be appreciated.