Monday, March 11, 2013

The Adventure of Surrender

Tell God He can have it all, and mean it.

Really mean it.

There is no limit to what He can do through you when you live with arms wide open. There is a misconception that when we surrender to God, He takes away everything we like and makes us follow a bunch of rules. People think surrender means a boring life. But let me tell you, surrender is a great big adventure. I’m following the Man who walks on water. If anyone knows adventure, it’s Him! Each morning when the sun shines through my window and I crawl out of my mosquito net, I have two options. I can choose to cling to my desires, selfishly clenching my fists and claiming my life as my own, or I can choose to open my arms wide in surrender. God offers adventure, even in everyday routine, if we humble ourselves enough to find it.

It’s a normal Sunday evening. Ministry is done for the day, and I’m headed up to my room to check Facebook, maybe catch up on some reading, when I hear scrape and the sound of laughter outside our gate. I know this means the neighborhood kids are out playing. We live on top of a hill, and the kids have made a game of sledding down the pavement on scrap pieces of plastic. Before giving it a second thought, my feet carry me outside with my housemates, Callie and Jack, and we’re mobbed by at least thirty children who all want to hold our hands and pull our hair. We play with them and laugh as we try to teach the concept of Simon Says. When we’ve run out of games to play, Winnie, who is about seven or eight and seems to be the leader of the pack, says “You tell us a story!” The children squeal with excitement and sit down on the pavement, waiting in eager anticipation. Jack begins to narrate the story of David and Goliath, and just like that the common becomes sacred. An ordinary day becomes an adventure. I play the part of King Saul, with my favorite baby, Man (yes, that’s his real name!), wrapped up in my arms. Callie plays the part of Goliath, and we all fear for her life when the kids start collecting rocks to take down the giant. (At least we know they were listening!) I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry as I watch these children act out the classic story of God's faithfulness. Our friends come from the slum just down the hill, some of them don’t go to school, and some of them are Muslim. I don’t know much about their lives, but I know that Jesus loves them and I do, too. The sun is setting and their mommas are calling, so we all put our hands together and bow our heads. I pray for them, that Jesus would pour out His love on these precious children and their families. I pray His protection and power over them. I thank God for my new friends, and with a full heart, I say amen. We hug them all good night and promise to play with them again soon.

As I walk to my room, I’m thinking “God, who am I that you chose me to show your love to these kids?” I’m on an adventure of surrender, and it’s much bigger than I am. On my own, I could take one, maybe two steps before crashing in a heap on the floor. Oh, but when I choose surrender! In surrender to the God of the Universe, the adventure is boundless. With arms open wide, I am unstoppable.

For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
-Psalm 18:28-30


  1. What a great story, Natalie! I am blessed every time I read one of your posts. May Jesus continue to bless you in your quest to spread His love to the children and families you meet in Uganda. God has chosen you because of your caring and loving nature and your willingness to totally surrender to His calling. You are so special. Love you so much, Gammy

  2. Natalie - continue your life in the shadow of God's great grace - only a few will ever experience what His grace truely means - we are so fortunate to have a relationship with the creator Himself - we miss your smiling face around here - may God Bless You Each Day. - with you in service to HIM..

  3. Girl! God sure did a good job when He chose you to show your love for these kids. You bless them everyday, and we are all so proud of you!