Control is an intoxicating word and is complete illusion. There are too many variable in our lives for us to ever have control over its circumstances. Our brains seek order and may try to convince us that if only life unfolded in a certain way we would be happy and in control. As a person who grew up in a chaotic household, (alcoholic father and depressed mother, siblings who could not wait to grow up and escape the chaos,) I was easily seduced into believing that if only I could be in control of my life and its circumstances I would be happy and experience contentment.
Jesus tells us to take care of our own situations, not to expect Him to manage our finances, our households or our relationships. We have free will to make decisions for our own good and the good of others. We have a certain amount of control over our own lives and destinies. If we eat healthy food, and maintain a healthy weight, we will experience better outcomes than if we eat unhealthy food and let our weight become unmanageable. Common sense. Simple wisdom. Obvious truths.
Surrendering control of our lives to God is necessary to a certain extent but we still have to make most of the decisions regarding our daily lives. It is our responsibility to live as healthy a life as possible. God calls our bodies, ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’. God is living inside of us. Our spirits become One with His Spirit.
“The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words.” Romans 8: 26-27.
God’s Holy Spirit, intercedes at the throne of God on our behalf, ‘when we are weak’: we are always weak, as we are always at the mercy of the world. We are unaware of the many circumstances whirling around our lives that we have absolutely no control over. God does and He has given us the gift and the loving wisdom of His Own Spirit to guide and protect us, while leading us through the inevitable storms of life.
“When we cannot choose words…”, when we are at a complete loss of what to say and what we need, God’s Spirit searches our heart and pleads to God on our behalf. Sometimes our children cry, they are upset and we do not know why. Do they have a tummy ache? Are they tired? Teething? Coming down with a ‘flu bug? We question, we gently probe asking them for more information so that we can comfort them. These are the action of a loving parent.
In our own lives, God’s Holy Spirit discerns immediately what we need, even before we ourselves have realized that need. We can find no words. The Holy Spirit has no need of words. He communicates directly with God on our behalf and so we receive immediate comfort and relief.
Surrendering to God’s Holy Spirit brings peace to our hearts, minds and spirits. Letting go and trusting God and His plan for our lives fills us with the joy known and experienced only by the surrendered heart.
Below is a prayer of surrender written by St. Augustine who was one of the Founding Church Fathers also known as the Early Church Fathers:
‘Breathe in me O Holy Spirit that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me O Holy Spirit that my works, too, may be holy;
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit to defend that is holy;
Guard me then O Holy Spirit that I always may be holy.’ Amen.
We know how difficult it is to surrender our will, also known as our ego to allow or ask for another’s help. Our pride and ego driven human spirit makes asking for help difficult for us independent beings. The more we humble ourselves to pray and ask God’s Spirit to come into our lives and help us, the sooner our gigantic human egos can shrink and God can use us for His good purposes. Jesus told us we have to “die to self” in order for us to become “new creations in Christ.” In other words let go of our need to be in control and surrender our human desires, needs, hopes and dreams to God. Who as we know well, has much greater plans for us than we could ever ask or imagine for ourselves.
Here is another prayer of surrender this one by St. Pius X, a former Pope of the Roman Catholic Church:
‘Holy Spirit, divine Spirit of light and love I consecrate to You my understanding, my heart and my will, my whole being for time and for eternity.
May my understanding be always submissive to Your heavenly inspirations and to the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, of which You are the infallible Guide.
May my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbour; may my will be ever conformed to the divine Will, and my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and You, Holy Spirit, be honor and glory forever.’ Amen.
True surrender to God is a conscious act of our own will. We may have to pray over and over again to fully realize that are intentionally choosing God’s plan for our lives. No matter how long it takes to experience true surrender and trust in God’s awesome plan for our lives it is worth it. We owe Him everything and whatever the reason He trusts us with our mission here. Let it begin.
(C) Marion Sinclair Simpson (2016)