By: Jana Greene
This past weekend, I instructed a workshop about “Surrender” for a large group of women. In it, I shared the absolute necessity of LETTING GO of our anxieties.
And, in the interest of honesty, I also shared my own propensity of surrendering my worries to Jesus, only to revisit them on occasion – as if I have some twisted kind of weekend custody of them or something.
“Thanks for handling the financial worries I surrendered to you, God. Now, if you don’t mind, I believe it’s my right to have visitation with it. Just to check up, you know.”
“I know I surrendered by kids to you, God. But they seem to be making worse choices than even BEFORE I fully trusted them to your care, so maybe if I revisit the situation, I can give you some pointers on fixing them. Nobody knows them like their mother….”
At which point, God usually reminds me that, no….actually nobody knows them like their Father.
I keep forgetting that. even though it’s right there in 1 Peter 5:7: “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” (MSG)
At the conclusion of last weekend’s workshop workshop, I invited the ladies to visit the Surrender Board on a table in the back of the room. After channeling my Amateur Craft Maven earlier in the week in preparation for the ceremony, I’d covered a large Styrofoam board with some glittery scrap booking paper, and made over a hundred little white flags from toothpicks and white masking tape. I provided metallic paint pens at the table for the ladies to emboss the flags with their most difficult struggles before raising their own white flags in surrender on the board.
To get it started, I’d pre-added about seven of the issues nearest and dearest to my heart. The names of my children. My weight struggles. Anxiety. Fear.
One by one, the women filed to the table to the accompaniment of soothing worship music. Tearfully, they turned their worries into a Styrofoam battlefield of surrender, letting go of their issues and giving them to God.
After the workshop, I took the Surrender Board home with me, and vowed to pray for the surrenderees each day this week.
But last night, I had a dream.I was approaching the board in a room where it sat on a fancy table (think “Arc of the Covenant” fancy) Jesus stood between me and all of the white flag surrenderables, which I had come to pray over.He was lovingly guarding them.
“Excuse me, Lord,” I think I said. (Very politely, it was Jesus, after all.) “I need to pray for these items left here by my sisters.”
“But they gave them to me,” He countered.
Not wanting to argue with The Great I Am, I peered past his shoulder to take a look-see at all of the little white flags. The metallic paint that marked each struggle was so aglow in the light of Christ that I couldn’t make out the words.
“Yes, but you see,” I explained. “I told myself I would pray over each one.”
“Yes, but you also told them that they could trust these things to me.”
As I peer over the shoulder of the Living God again (I can be really stubborn sometimes) I can see that each little white flag has been folded and stamped crimson with an old-fashioned molten wax-type seal. Upon closer inspection, I could see that the insignia was the stamp of a Cross. And the crimson wax? It was the blood of Jesus.
Whatever was written beneath was inconsequential. The same seal covered each one.
All at once, I faded from the dream and experienced a kind of had an epiphany. When I was fully awake, I logged on the very modern research tool of the interwebs to find out more about the ancient art of seals:
A seal, in biblical times as today, is used to guarantee security or indicate ownership. Ancient seals were often made of wax, embedded with the personalized imprint of their guarantor.
“….Third, the seal of the Holy Spirit helps protect against tampering or attack. Romans 8:13 declares, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (www.BibleStudyTools.com)
Jesus wasn’t upset with me that I wanted to have visitation with my struggles and those of my sisters, but He DID want me to make good on my promise to surrender them to HIM and leave them there.
And that INCLUDED my own items of surrender.
No need to revisit them anymore. It’s sealed by the blood. You cannot even tell what it used to be. Even the little white flags of surrendering my children and their lives. (Nobody knows them like their Heavenly Father.)
Each little white flag erected by the wonderful women who so bravely surrendered it? Precious to Him beyond all imagining.
Leave it there at the altar. He has sealed it with his blood.
Signed, sealed, surrendered. Personally imprinted by their Guarantor.
LIVE CAREFREE IN GOD – HE IS MOST CAREFUL WITH YOU.
Surrender is a beautiful thing.