Monday, January 2, 2012


Ever have one of those situations that just refuses to go away?

Yup, I'm thinking you have – in fact, you probably have something right now that is troubling you. Maybe it's something in the area of finances, or maybe health, or perhaps a relationship.

Whatever it is, I'll bet you want an answer, you want guidance, you want an outcome – you want the situation to be SOLVED.

It's human nature.

Most of the time, I give myself grace to be human. But then, the "Christian" in me speaks up, and I determine that I shouldn't be feeling what I'm feeling. Now, I don't mean any disrespect by putting quotation marks around the word Christian. I am truly a born-again believer saved by Jesus Christ – and I truly follow Him by faith.

But, I'm talking about the part of me that starts chastising myself for my feelings.

Let's be honest – we know that we have feelings that are not driven by the Spirit. We know that our sinful natures still stir up thoughts and desires that are at odds with the truth.

But, we still have these thoughts and desires and feelings.

So what do we do with them?

Here's when I start feeling confused.

Thankfully, I'm not alone. (Thank you, Paul)…

"The trouble is with me…I don't really understand myself, for I want to do (feel, think) what is right, but I don't… I can't. I want to do (feel, think) what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do (feel, think) what is wrong, but I do it anyway." (From Romans 7 – with a few added words by me)

The confusion lies here – what to do with the thoughts and desires and feelings that are not of the Spirit, but they're there because I'm human?

I know that I am supposed to surrender them to the Lord. And I want to – I truly do. But what exactly does that mean – how does that work out in practical ways?

Because I'll tell you what – when I don't surrender these things to the Lord, I start feeling GUILTY.

Guilty that I'm still confused or hurt or disappointed or afraid. Guilty that I still don't know what to do. Guilty that I have feelings of frustration and impatience (with God, if I'm totally honest). Guilty that I'm still human –

Because my thoughts and desires and feelings haven't disappeared.


I interpret surrender to mean that when I give up, give over these things to the Lord – they magically disappear! I don't think them, or want them, or feel them anymore. And if I still do, then I haven't surrendered them.

It's a sticky wicket –

(STICKY WICKET – a delightful term that originated in England, from the game of cricket. A wicket is the playing surface used in cricket. This phrase is a direct allusion to the difficulty of playing on a wet and sticky pitch. Therefore, it means a difficult situation. Thank you, Sharon, for the word lesson – there WILL be a pop quiz…)

Here's where the enemy perpetrates a subtle attack on me. The lie goes something like this:

"I have these thoughts and desires and feelings. I shouldn't have them as a Christian. Therefore, I must surrender them to the Lord. If I still have them, then I haven't surrendered them. I am a terrible Christian."

Yeah – it's sort of like adding 1 + 1 and getting 3.

Faulty logic. At least in my opinion.

Because here's what I'm learning. Here's what surrender is beginning to mean to me. Surrender isn't the disappearance of the thoughts and desires and feelings. It is the surrendering of the striving – it is letting go of their power…

Take a person who is going to go on a diet. They aren't going to stop eating completely, and they're not going to stop being hungry but they ARE going to release the power that food has over them.

Or what about a person struggling with addiction? Once in a rare while, God does intervene and completely remove the addiction, and the desire for it. But more often than not, it's a lifetime battle of surrenderof LETTING GO of the power that the drug or drink has over them.

Unless the Lord intervenes in a different way – (and He sure can if He wants to!) surrender is going to be a process for me. I'm going to still have the thoughts and desires and feelings. Situations are still going to stir these things up inside of me. And I can waste a lot of time and energy trying to make them disappear. Not to mention making myself crazy with guilt when I can't…

God says to me: "Sharon, stop striving…"

Finances, health, relationships – these are going to rouse some strong stuff inside of us. And the thoughts and desires and feelings might not go away. But surrendering the OUTCOME of them, letting go of the POWER of them, giving to God the NEED for a solution – these are the things of faith.

Allowing God to be sovereign – relinquishing to Him the control of it all – this is what it's all about.

Job asked for answers – He got a whirlwind. But he also got God.

Our striving, once yielded, can lead us directly to the face of God – in spite of the thoughts and desires and feelings that come along for the ride.

Oh Lord, let my striving cease – let me be content with situations that have no immediate solution – grant me peace through my humanness.

Be the whirlwind who becomes my Eye in the Storm.

What do you do with situations that won't go away? What does surrender look like to you?

(Starting 2012 with Joan - SHARING HIS BEAUTY)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. This is excellent. I happen like that passage from Paul. Doesn't it continue with something like "oh wretched me?" or am I thinking of another Pauline passage?

    I wish I could give you the correct answer on the striving and surrender. On a good "Debbie Day", I could say all the right stuff. You just caught me on a bad "Debbie Day", practically an "oh wretched me day".

    My surrender generally sounds more like this, "OK, LORD. I quit." That's not the same thing, is it? Quitting and surrender are millimeters together and light years apart, I think.

    And don't you dare do quitting vs. surrender for a fan the flame Friday, Missy. I'm feeling wretched enough already.

    Daring to actually post this...

  2. Letting go of the past and casting our care on the Lord is often difficult. Paul said we strive to reach the mark at the end of the race. Strive can mean many things, Endeavor, desire so much with all our being. Trusting God we follow his guidance and as we take each step we listen for His voice for our next move. Many of us women like to be in charge (to strive)- - but with God we must release our days to him.

  3. Oh wow, Sharon! Great post! You cut right to my heart today...May I continually yield to, surrender to and trust Him! I'm going to re-read this post several times to truly let it sink in!!

    Blessings, Joan

  4. Thank God for Paul - right? He makes me feel better too at times. Surrender to Him and be in the Present. sandie

  5. Wow! You deal with this Sticky Wicket topic of guilt with SO MUCH GRACE!!!

    This line gives me much freedom:

    "Surrender isn't the disappearance of the thoughts and desires and feelings. It is the surrendering of the striving – it is letting go of their power…"

    I have such a situation in my life, and I'm striving to no longer strive :) Thank you!!!

  6. Hi Sharon,

    I don't have many words at the moment, but have read this and will come back and read again at some point, much crowding in at the moment.

    You are and have been in my thoughts and prayers.

    Look forward to our continuing travel together along's God's path in 2012.

    God Bless - Nita

  7. Whew... thanks Sharon! This was an awesome releasing condemnation kind of post... and I surrender! Aye. there's the rub... and I will yield to striving!

    I, too, found freedom through much of what you shared to not carrying around my guilt any longer into 2012. I feel dipped, cleansed and spanky clean. OK, not really, just a bit better about my inadequacy with surrender... and then dragging it back with me into the next year and the nest year, until I have a whole mountain of guilt ahead of me and don't feel at all like a very good Christian.

    Thank you for your honest, vulnerability which lets me know even if I'm not all OK, His grace is enough!
    When I sing "I surrender all..." I will remember that it's my striving that stops and I'm still in the process of
    growing and going beyond my human limits... to realize that my surrender may or may not make "whatever" disappear but I will learn to overcome one day at a time... that which is holding me back from moving ahead, but those thoughts, feelings, or desires being crucified are being filtered out of me too... as I replace the old with the new and let go, knowing that He's in control, when I'm good, bad, or just ugly... He already knows that and I'm a Masterpiece in process and also very human.

    What do you do with situations that won't go away? What does surrender look like to you? I have a few that I keep laying at the feet of Jesus... and asking Him to remove and He lets me know, we're working on it... waving a white flag... please, LORD, cleanse me as I give this one to You again... I'd like to say I change, but you know as well as I do... that change is a life time process. Yes, here's the RUB:
    it's a lifetime battle of surrender – of LETTING GO of the power and the VICTORY... is in His Hands and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can
    submit, admit, and remit our human needs for a taste of spiritual glory.
    And maybe He will change us to reflect a little more of Jesus each time through the process of being FREE!

    Love this and love you (((hugs)))
    (now I'll be running this one through my mind all night)... gotta stop striving and sinking in quicksand.(Oh I don't do that... must be someone else)

  8. Hi Sharon -

    Yes, we all have our challenges and uncertainties but praise our glorious Lord that He is our solid ROCK.

    Psalm 61:2 - KJV
    ...when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

  9. One of the hardest things we do is to let go and let God. With God's help though, it can be done.
    Blessings as you surrender your life more and more each day.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)