There are several things I don’t like about being a Christian. A few things Jesus said rub me the wrong way. Some of his ways are difficult to follow. Some of his teachings are challenging to swallow. But there comes a point in our faith where we have to decide – what is better?
Is what Jesus has to offer better than what it costs to follow him?
In the context of surrendering our ‘why’, the question may sound a bit more like this…
Is knowing the answer to your ‘why’ better than finding freedom in Christ and living out the fullness God has to offer?
When I look at that question in print, it feels ridiculous to even write it.
Of course we would choose Freedom in Christ…..
I didn’t. I didn’t for 16 years.
Most people don’t either.
Why is that?
Because we don’t know what we are missing. Hindsight is 20/20. When I was obsessed with answering my ‘why’, I didn’t even realize it. At the time, I couldn’t articulate that my ‘why’ created a blind spot and it kept me from seeing who God truly is. I came to believe that is what faith looked liked. I subconsciously believed following Jesus was a hard, long journey I had been called to endure. I thought for some reason I had a target on my head for God to throw darts of hardship my way.
But I was wrong.
Being on the other side of surrendering my “why’, I can’t tell you if I believe God causes hardship or just allows it because we live in a fallen world. I don’t know. But I am sure of one thing, God makes good out of bad. The whole time I thought God was bringing hardship my way to make me tougher and develop my character – he was actually just trying to reveal my blind spots. He was using the trials and stress to bring me closer and closer to a place of brokenness. He knew that only in a place of brokenness would I be able to finally see who he was and experience the fullness he had to offer.
He knew what he had to offer was better than what I had settled for.
I’m so glad he didn’t give up on me.
I’m glad he didn’t give up because now the freedom I have experienced after surrendering my ‘why’ makes the ‘why’ question seem irrelevant.
Your journey to get to that place of surrender is going to be different than mine. You may not experience as many hardships along the way, but regardless of our path I believe we all must get to a place where, deep in our soul, we can honestly say – God you are better. We have to come to a place where we truly believe whatever God has on the other side of surrendering our ‘why’ is better than knowing all the answers.
If I were you, I would be thinking, that’s a great idea Lisa – but how do you get to that place?
I thought you would never ask.
Pray. I recognize that on this side of the struggle, it’s easy to make the process sound easy and simple. My journey to surrendering my ‘why’ was anything but simple. It was painful and confusing. But like I mentioned, part of the reason it took me so long to surrender my ‘why’ is I didn’t realize my ‘why’ had become a blind spot. So let me spare you years of pain and hardship. Ask God “Am I allowing my ‘why’ to keep me from experiencing the fullness of who you are?” God has already shown us through the cross he will go to the greatest lengths to bridge the gap between him and his people. If you ask with a sincere heart, I PROMISE you God will reveal your blind spots to you.
Find glimpses. Find people around you whom you think are walking in the freedom and fullness Christ has to offer. If you know don’t anyone like that, find some biographies to read of people who give up everything, yet gain everything. Being reminded of what you don’t have, but have access to, hopefully will motivate you to keep fighting for freedom.
Ask yourself hard questions. “What answer could God give you that would satisfy your ‘why’ question? When I actually sat back and thought about it, I could not come up with an answer that would truly satisfy my ‘why’. “Why does it feel so important to you to understand ‘why’? Take time to think through those questions.
Start a better than list. Faith plays a huge piece in surrendering your ‘whys’, but there is also a bit of logic to consider. Is knowing ‘why’ better than freedom in Christ? Make a list of reasons why surrendering your ‘why’ is better.
Look for the good. Over the last several years, I have found a lot of comfort in the simple truth that God makes good out of bad. Although I would love to avoid the pain altogether, it helps me to know that there is purpose in what I am going through.
The reason I write is so that people can learn from my mistakes. So please take some time to pray. Ask God if there is a ‘why’ in your life that has created a blind spot keeping you from seeing who he really is. Find glimpses of what life has to offer on the other side of surrender. Ask yourself hard questions and be honest in your answers. Cling to the truth that God makes good out of bad.
I believe if you commit to doing those things, in the not so distant future you will be able to say from the bottom of our soul – He is better.
Because there is more,
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