We must die multiple deaths this side of heaven. Death to dreams, agendas, plans, relationships, reputation, ideals... Pain is inevitable on this life-journey. Surrendering our agenda to God brings freedom, in that we don't bear the weight fully of the myriad of decisions we must make daily. He promises mercy and He promises to bring good out of the deaths we die if we love Him. Only God has the power to bring resurrection. Surrender is freeing, but never easy.
Not surrendering is to die those deaths and have no blessing from the losses we experience. With God is always hope. With God there is promise for redeeming our losses. With God, there is strength to face the future with joy that He is about the business of fulfilling us as only He can. Fully, perfectly. For the joy of being with Him, every pain endured has great value.
The seed must go into the ground in darkness and die in order for the plant to grow and bear life-giving fruit. Through painful labor a baby is born. These are parables for us to glean from in times of pain. Saying, "Hope!"
When we embarked on this journey with Jesus, when He held out His hand and said, "come." We didn't know what was ahead. We have died many deaths. Not nearly as painful as many who are close to me. Not death of a child, not death to our health, but small deaths. For me personally, a death to a season of life due to anxiety induced depression. I look back and see myself lifeless in my mission. Like an over-boiled noodle.
Today saying goodbye again to Dale at the airport, a little death. Life has been a strain for him at work these past six weeks. He is quiet. For anyone who knows him...not his usual self. The job is hard. the surrender of the farm dream is hard. Not having control over the future is hard. And all we have... after letting go of everything familiar...well, it is more than enough, for we have God. And God is all we need. We can trust that He holds the future. He has always been good. He has a secure plan and knowing that is enough.
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."