As I lay in bed , mind racing feeling like my shoulders have rocks in them, I joke with myself that this “ becoming like Christ thing” could kill you. “Sifting”, that’s a good “ church term” for what is happening to me right now. Personally it feels more like demolition day and no one told me I needed to evacuate. What is it about taking on the image of Christ or becoming more like Christ that literally feels like dying at times? As I keep laying here caught up in my own train of thoughts a little voice goes off in my head…This is exactly what it means when Christ says “ you must lay down your life” You must die to self. Everything Christ requires of you is everything your body mind and heart will reel against. It does not come naturally to me. I don’t believe it comes naturally to anyone.
It’s “ surrendering”. Ugggg that’s such a brutal word in my mind. It conjures up images of utter defeat. Of a war you cannot win. A place where you have to stop fighting stop hiding stop resisting.
Fighting and wanting control as if that was ever an option. Why do we press so hard against a thing that as never ours to begin with. Control was never ours. The human body alone is a great example of the futility of “ control” Take for instance your skin just as one example. “Did you know that scientists estimate that the human body is made up of around 10 trillion cells in total? Your skin makes up about 16 percent of your body weight, which means you have roughly 1.6 trillion skin cells [source: BBC]. Of course, this estimate can vary tremendously according to a person’s size. The important thing is that you have a lot of skin cells. Of those billions of skin cells, between 30,000 and 40,000 of them fall off every hour. Over a 24-hour period, you lose almost a million skin cells [source: Boston Globe].” [source: HowStuff Works.com]. Last time I checked I am neither in control of how many fall off nor can I make them all come back.
So with the innate knowledge of just how powerless I am to “ control” why do I constantly fight so hard for it. Fear of the unknown, not being able to control and predict and prepare for the outcome. Pride maybe…the sense of needing to say “ I did this, look at me” Even that sentence alone makes me laugh as I type it because what thing do I think I have actually accomplished were it not for God’s grace and provisions to allow me to do so. And the things that I do accomplish, what makes them worthy of recognition. Uggg… I have so much refining work to do in my life.
I do take comfort in the story of Jacob. The bible says in Gen 32:24 that:
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
This I take comfort in and this is my goal…I want God to be able to say of me…She struggled and fought with God but has overcome. I love the fact that Jacob fought and struggled. He didn’t go quietly, he tried to have control, he tried to force his way and his will and yet in the end, it says he overcame. Maybe that is the secret to surrendering…it isn’t dying or defeat as it feels to be, instead it is the moment you overcome, when instead of impending defeat, it is actually victory…you recognize control was just an illusion, you never actually had it but you can trust the One who does. You can surrender your whole life to the One who laid down his for you. There is such freedom in this surrendering, this overcoming, and this victory. It is, as I am learning, the only path to peace.