CrossReads Weekly Devotional: From a Surrender to a Gift

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by Precarious Yates

1 Kings 19:11-13

11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.

13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:11-13

Raising a white flag in surrender. This is a military symbol. In surrender, we admit we’ve been overcome by one who is stronger than us. 

Sometimes, when people come to faith in God, they express that they have surrendered their lives to Him. They have glimpsed in a small or huge way His power and majesty. As a natural, or supernatural consequence, they fall down in awe and worship. 

I’ve been in this place before. It’s amazing! There is something inside us that craves to be overwhelmed like this!

And then there are times when the only explanation is the Hebrew word tsitsum: God contracting Himself so creation can exist, but at the same time, He is everywhere. For years, those times in my life of tsitsum always seemed to be intense trials. Like the Psalmists, I cried out, “Where are you? Why do you hide your face from me?” 

But i don’t panic so much in these moments anymore. 

During awe-filled encounters with the Lord, there is a proper compulsion to surrender. There is a time when EVERY knee will bow before His majesty!

But during those times of tsitsum, when God seems to hide, when we have to quiet ourselves enough to hear His whisper, something beautiful can happen. We can choose. In the hectic noise of the world, we can quiet ourselves and choose God. In those times He seems distant, we can choose to offer a gift to Him rather than surrender a tightly held possession. 

Those quiet moments and little choices have far reaching implications. It’s in these moments that love begins to flow through us in greater maturity. 

Have you previously surrendered something to the Lord in prayer? I have, and have done so out of duty rather than love, out of obligation rather than trust. Sometimes in moments of tsitsum, I revisit that surrender and choose to offer a gift. Whisper to whisper. Heart to heart. And my trust grows. 

God bless you!

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

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