an analogy on surrender

I'm in a Bible study on Monday nights. We're working through a book by Linda Dillow called Satisfy my Thirsty Soul for I am Desperate for Your Presence. I've shared about it on my instagram account quite a bit these past weeks.

My favourite thing about the study is that I just get to attend it. I lead a community group on Wednesdays and spent the last two year apprenticing as a leader, so it's so refreshing to get to go somewhere and not feel pressure to be leading well. At this study, I simply get to participate.

Anyway. A few weeks ago, we were talking about the word surrender. It's a tough word to comprehend, and an even tougher word to put into practice.

As the rest of the girls (is it odd that I use girls instead of women, even being mid-twenties, it feels odd to refer to myself as a woman or a lady. Hm. Anyway.) were chatting, I had an analogy float into my mind.

I held onto it for a few minutes, as the discussion continued. I kept praying really Lord? This? Really?

Eventually, I shared this:

Have you ever played the card game go fish? You have cards in your hands, and the other person asks if you have a 2. If you have a 2, you have to put it down, but if you don't, you essentially get to tell them to look elsewhere.

Surrender is like that. The Lord is constantly asking us what we're holding onto. The things we haven't yet surrendered, the things we're holding closer.

Do you have a 2?
Do you have a 7?
Do you have a jack?

If we have them, we have to give them Him. There really isn't another option, because that's how the game works.

Sometimes we're in a season, a season I find myself in rarely, when the things He asks us for aren't in our hands. In those moments, we don't have to surrender them up because we already have.

The problem is that during the game, we're constantly drawing up new cards. Some new cards that might resemble an old card. 

So even if we gave up the 2 a long time ago, He might ask us for it again. And if we have it, we have to give it up.

It's a simple analogy. Not complicated, but I've found it helpful.

So often I think of surrender as I give it to God and then I never have to deal with it again, which is odd because my sin patterns show me that I tend to repeat things over and over. I give something to the Lord and find that I probably have to give it back to Him again the next day, and the next. Eventually I might be able to last longer than a few days, but it's pretty easy for old sins to creep back into my hands.

Surrender. It's constant.

I think the most beautiful part of the game is that we too get to ask things of the Lord. We get to ask if He has 8 or a 9 for us. Sometimes He tells us to go fish, but sometimes He gives us exactly what we asked.

I've found that the things He doesn't have to offer me are typically replaced by something better.