The Search for Surrender
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin." - Hebrews 4:15
As we have begun our journey through reading the Gospels and discovering who Jesus really was as he walked this earth, I have kept this one verse on a loop in the back of my mind. As I’ve allowed the stories of the Gospel of John to play out in my imagination, I find myself looking for the moments in which Jesus faced all of the struggles I face in my own life today—from the intense and painful moments of my life to the seemingly mundane and innocuous ones.
I have entered a season of life lately where I find myself fighting for control. I have more questions than answers right now and questions make me feel edgy and insecure. I am desperate to take action and do something! But for a season, I need to wait and watch. As I have read through John this month, I have been searching for a Jesus who understands what it is like to wait and watch. I’ve been looking for a sense of powerlessness to peek through in a Savior I know to be all powerful.
It seemed like a wild goose chase.
And then a few weeks ago, in his first sermon in the I Am series, Zach made an offhand remark. In setting the stage for perhaps what Jesus’ life might have looked like in the first 30 years before his public ministry began, he casually mentioned in all likelihood Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, passed away when Jesus was in his late teens/early 20s. Zach mentioned this only to move on to a larger point, but I sat there stuck in that moment for a while. It never really occurred to me before that Jesus experienced that kind of loss.
People he loved experienced pain. People he loved endured hardship and struggle. He watched his mother become a widow. He mourned with his earthly family over the loss of their father. And he did nothing to intervene.
He did nothing because he lived a life of full surrender. And full surrender in that moment meant waiting and watching and sitting in the powerlessness.
A few weeks later Zach preached again and this time it was about control. He asked us what are you looking to for life that isn’t Jesus? In other words, where are you looking for control when what you need is surrender?
We serve a Savior who knows exactly what it means to be human. He knows what it is like to feel powerless in the face of adversity and hardship. He knows what it feels like to watch a loved one be lost. He knows that feeling of wanting to just do something, anything, to ease someone’s pain. He knows what it means to just want to make it all better. And he also knows where true surrender leads you. He knows the eternal peace of surrender rather than the temporary ease of control.
As I return to my own life and look at the places where I am forced to simply watch and wait, I find myself leaning into surrender a little more. Not fully and not as often as I should, but a little bit at a time. Because I love and serve a Savior who has sat exactly where I sit. And even just the knowledge that he walked this road before me brings a little more light to the path.
Reagan Perkins and her family have been attending Summit for the past four years. In addition to leading a Connect group, she is one of the volunteer writers for the SUMMIT Magazine. She likes to write, cook, and try not to kill things in the garden. You can (and should) read her personal blog right here.