You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. (Mark 8:34 Message)
Life can seem like a boxing match—the jabs, the right hook, the uppercut all take their toll, but we never see the knockout punch coming, and then we go “down for the count.” When severe illness or other hardships come into our lives, how do we get back up? We get out of the driver’s seat!
What a verse to read when our bodies fail us! At the time when we want most to be in control of our bodies, our treatment, our schedules, Jesus tells us to move over into the passenger seat. We need to learn about surrender. Surrendering the goal (and illusion) of being in charge is the foundational task of our spiritual journey. If we want to walk with Jesus, we must give up control of our lives. As Eugene Peterson says so well about Mark 8:34, we can’t go or grow with God and remain in charge of the journey. We need to consciously turn our will over to God. Surrendering does not mean giving up on our lives; it means giving our lives to God.
Paul says something similar in Philippians 2:7. He advises us to have the same mind and love toward others as Jesus did, who “emptied himself” by becoming human. Now that’s a posture of surrender! We need to renounce the idea that we are in control of our lives and completely submit ourselves to God, trusting that we are safe in God’s hands—as Jesus did when he assumed humanity. —Karen Bables
Prayer: Jesus, I surrender all.