“Surrender is the only real way to experience His peace.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 30, 2021
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10
I love the Lord’s faithfulness. He is so good to show us the way, and to teach us how to walk in His good, good plans. Over the last week or so, He has been reminding me of the importance of surrender. Perhaps you’re thinking “Surrender. Ugh.” I get it.
We often believe surrender means missing out or receiving less. But surrendering to God is not about these things at all. Instead, it’s about living a victorious life in Christ and experiencing peace and joy.
I recently heard a story about a man named Dale Black which reminded me of these truths.
Dale was an aspiring pilot when he was just 19 years old. One morning in 1969, he was excited to take a flight in a small plane with two other more experienced pilots from the Hollywood-Burbank airport. The weather was great, and their pre-flight check went well. But just moments after takeoff, the engine started sputtering and they crashed into a large monument, the Portal of the Folded Wings, just south of the airport. The plane exploded on impact.
When the three pilots were discovered, no one thought they were alive because the wreckage was so extensive. But Dale miraculously survived.
He had a multitude of injuries: a cut in his eye, and many broken bones. In the days following, and after several surgeries, Dale wrestled with the Lord over one injury: his ankle. It had been badly broken in the crash, and without healing, he wouldn’t be able to do sports—and he would never fly again. Dale’s doctor told him he needed ankle surgery. But Dale refused. He wanted to trust the Lord for healing.
During several doctor visits, Dale was warned that if they waited too long, the bone would die. Dale continued to trust God, but no healing came. Then one day after a series of x-rays, the doctor announced, “I’m sorry. It’s too late. The bone is dead.”
Dale was angry at God. He asked the Lord why he hadn’t healed his ankle and told Him that His promises didn’t work. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to Dale’s heart, “Why do you want to be healed so badly?” Matthew 6:33 came to Dale’s mind: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Immediately, Dale knew He had been seeking the Lord’s gift of healing more than He had been seeking the Lord. In tears, Dale surrendered and gave up His life, His healing, and His plan. He knew His heart had been wrong all along. He wanted Jesus more than anything.
The following doctor visit, after Dale’s x-rays were placed on the wall for review, His doctor couldn’t believe it. Dale’s ankle was healing. In fact, it had healed more in two weeks than it had in six months. Blood was flowing to his ankle.
In surrender, God may—or may not—give us what we want. But when we surrender, He always wants to give us Himself. When we surrender, we always receive what is best: the Lord Jesus.
Surrender isn’t about giving up; it’s about giving in to the One who knows best for us, to the One who knows us most and has a good, good plan. Surrender is the only real way to experience His peace. It’s the only way to true joy.
“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Lord, I submit my life and all that I have and am to you. Use me how you will; make me what you want; may you be glorified in my life. Amen.
Is there anything that you are refusing to give to the Lord? If so, why?
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