What She Surrendered…
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Sitting on the floor of the attic after uncovering a little ceramic plaque, I realized anew how letting go must be one of the hardest choices a person ever has to make.
The plaque displayed a Dutch prayer, the English translation carefully handwritten on the back by a young Dutch mother who had made her home in the United States.
- Father, I lay the names of my children in Your hands.
- Engrave their names therein with permanent script.
- Allow nothing and no one ever to burn them out.
- Though Satan may seek to sift them as wheat.
- Hold fast to them when I must let go.
- And always let your power stand above their weakness.
- You know how merciless the world will hate them
- If they do not walk or follow in its way.
- I do not ask You to spare my children every sorrow,
- But be their comfort when they are lonely and afraid.
- For your name’s sake keep them in your covenant.
- Let them never stray from You, never as long as life shall last!
- I lay the names of my children in Your hands. Amen.
I know from the inscribed date that shortly after translating this poem, Inka was diagnosed with cancer from which she soon died. She left behind her husband and three small children, the youngest only a year old. Surrender indeed—wanting what God wants more than what we want.
“As long as you maintain your own personal interests and ambitions, you cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. This can only be accomplished by giving up all of your personal plans once and for all, and by allowing God to take you directly into His purpose for the world. Your understanding of your ways must also be surrendered, because they are now the ways of the Lord.” —Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
True surrender is freely choosing to let go—laying all in God’s capable hands.
That’s exactly what Abraham did when God asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac on the altar. He surrendered to the one He knew and trusted.
Can you live today with that sort of abandoned trust in God?
Every year – on October 26, the anniversary of that young Dutch mother’s death – I honor her by remembering what she surrendered.
Almost forty years ago she opened her hands and laid her children in God’s larger ones. The symbolic act became a literal one when she died too young from cancer. But God was faithful. One day he placed those same children into the hands of another young woman who had surrendered her long desire to be a mother. Me. Perhaps one of the greatest grace gifts I have ever received is the privilege of adopting Inka’s children and raising them to adulthood where they continue to know God’s great care and enjoy full lives of service and surrender.
Long ago when I was in my thirties and wondering if I would ever be a wife and mama, I realized that as an act of consecration, I needed to release my own “toys”—my vision of what I thought would make me happy. You can do the same today with this classic prayer:
“Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding . . . I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival… Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it . . . In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” —A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Lord, opening my clenched fists is such a challenge—I want to hold tightly to what I have. And yet I know it is only through surrender—letting go—that I can receive all You desire to give me. Please help me learn how to both relinquish and receive. Amen.
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
excerpted from Life-Giving Choices ~ 60 Days to What Matters Most by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
My newest book “Life-Giving Choices ~ 60 Days to What Matters Most” is a devotional journal which can help you make the most important choices every day. Coming out this Fall from the good folks at New Hope Publishers, it is available now for pre-order AMAZON. Or pre-order CHRISTIANBOOK.
©2019 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.EncouragingWords.net
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