I can’t sleep.
Thinking about what God is doing lately.
Sharing some of it with you.
You know – when I am working with a little child in a therapy session, sometimes I have to run a “my turn” trial.
It is when I hold my hand out – palm up – for the item that they are holding or playing with, and I say, “My Turn”.
A child that does not know how to share, or does not want to share, grips their toy more tightly.
I’ll move my hand closer. “My turn”, I say. And I wait for the object.
Sometimes I have to gently take the toy from the child – sometimes just waiting quietly is enough.
Once it is in my hands, I will hold it for a few seconds and give it back right away – praising them for sharing – each time.
The trial is meant to teach – so the time that I hold the toy gets longer over weeks, until I can hold a toy for one or two minutes and the child is not hitting or crying or running away with the item. 😊
Trust is established.
Patience is learned.
Going without for a while is also learned.
We adults go through these trials with the Lord. Sometimes we have to give something or someone up for a little while.
Sometimes we can’t let go and God gently removes the thing.
And we cry.
God gently removed a thing from me once. At least, God’s hand was in it.
Just because a thing is out of your hands, it doesn’t mean it is out of your heart.
I knew I was supposed to surrender – and I went through the motions and prayed the prayers many times, but my heart simply was not in the yielding,
At least, not completely.
In my brain I knew it wasn’t mine.
In my SPIRIT I knew it was ultimately God’s,
But in my heart…
In my heart I was gripping tightly.
I had not yet relinquished.
And that is what God wanted from me.
He wanted the heart of a daughter that freely surrendered what he required.
He kept saying, “Surrender”.
“What do you mean, ‘Surrender’? You have it, don’t you? Isn’t that enough?”
– “No, Alma. I can see you. I am holding the item but you still possess it in your heart. Let It Go.“.
It seems silly to imagine my saying to one of the children in therapy, “Let it go.”, if I am holding the item – unless you look at the child’s face and observe that – even though the object is in the grown up’s hand – it really hasn’t been surrendered, and the child is devising a way to get it back as soon as they are able.
While I wasn’t actually devising, I was waiting for it to be given back, the way the children wait for me to give their toys back to them.
Recently, God again brought me to a place of surrender with this situation.
I’m not sure what made it possible this time.
Maybe I had reached a new level of trust with the Lord.
Maybe I just wanted what HE wanted more than what I wanted… in this category, at least?
I only know that once again, during prayer, the Lord said, “Let’s take a walk.”, and He led me to that familiar altar of sacrifice and patiently requested that the core of my heart be laid upon it by my own hand.
I surprised myself!, Even as I stood there, because for once I was able to say, “Yes Lord. I only want that thing to come to pass if that is what You think is best.”.
And I meant it.
It feels so odd, Liberating in a way.
Painful – but not nearly as painful as I imagined.
And this new sense of freedom eases the pain.
But that is not all.
There is a new intimacy with the Lord.
A deeper sense of knowing and a stronger sense of loving.
The only way I know to describe it is to once again compare it to the children with whom I work. If a stranger tries to talk to them or teach them, they run to and clutch me tightly, or they hide behind my legs.
I have become their safe place in the face of uncertainty and unfamiliar surroundings, the one to cling to, to Trust in, And God has become that safe place for me.
Trust, Love, and Intimacy; They all lie in wait on the other side of the altar of surrender, and if you want those things bad enough, the item you are clutching tightly to your chest will become less valuable to you, even though it may be the most precious thing in all the world.
It will still be precious – just not as precious as a deeper walk with Christ.