“Acceptance of discipleship is the utter abandonment of the disciple, the surrender of all rights, to the Master. This abandonment, in all cases, will mean pain. Christ listed some of the troubles His followers could expect, so that they would not be taken by surprise. He did not offer immunity. He asked for trust.” ~Elisabeth Elliot
Discipleship is trusting yourself to the one you are following. Saying ‘I realize you are the expert in this field and I trust that you know more than I do about what it takes to be who I want to be. I trust that whatever you ask me to do, whatever situation you put me in, whatever you say to me, and whatever tests you see fit to require me to pass, you have my best in mind, you are helping me become who I want to be.’
We forget this so much.
As Christians we may even start the day with prayer time, surrendering our day to His will, asking for Him to be glorified through that day, asking Him to mold us and shape us, etc, etc.
But then every time a little bump comes up in our day, we freak out. How could this happen? Why do I have to put up with this? I’ve got better things to do, I don’t have time to deal with this right now…Anything and everything that changes OUR plans or gets in the way of OUR schedule and the way WE think things need to go for the day is seen as unnecessary. All of a sudden we forget about our wise mentor, the one we are following after, the one we have asked to make us who we really want to be. All of a sudden we have become the experts.
We judge a day based on what has happened according to OUR plan and we never stop to ask if maybe it could have been going according to HIS plan all along. Surely His plan looks like ours right? It just makes logical sense. If it doesn’t make sense to us, then it can’t be necessary. If the day has not gone according to our plan, we count the day as bad. We start to play the victim even. We are trying hard to make the day ‘good’, to not be stressed, but it’s really not our fault….this happened, and that happened, and he said this and she did that, and everything just isn’t fair, and we’ve just been so busy and blah…blah….blah.
Have we given our lives to Him?
Have we surrendered to following Him?
Then we need to daily (and I’ll admit sometimes its more like hourly or even minutely) remind ourselves that we trust Him.
Do we trust Him?
I have to stop and ask myself, and sometimes it takes a few minutes for me to say ‘Yes, yes I do.’ And sometimes I realize that I don’t, but I want to, and saying ‘Yes, I trust You’ about ten times really helps it to sink in.
Surrendering isn’t a one time deal. It’s a daily deal. An hourly deal. A minute-by-minute deal. Cross carrying isn’t a one time deal. You pick up that cross and you carry it, step by step by step by step.
Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself, am I really surrendered to following Him right now? And a lot of times I will realize that I’m not. From there I have to ask myself why not, what is it that I am trying to hang on to, what is that I’m afraid to face? He helps you pinpoint those things when you ask, by the way.
It’s OKAY to be honest with Him. It’s okay to say ‘I don’t want to let go of this, I don’t understand this, this wasn’t how I planned my day, or my week, or my life! BUT, I want to trust You, I know You are for me, I know You are keeping my steps.’
It’s OKAY to struggle, it means you’re growing. But the struggles should lead us to a deeper commitment to Him, to a re-commitment to following Him. And if we take advantage of the struggles and unplanned bumps that come up as opportunities to re-commit, to deeper-commit, then these things that seem to be slowing us down in our journey actually become things that help push us down the path at a little faster pace then we would have gone otherwise.
In other words, He knows what He’s doing.