Sometimes in life, the right thing doesn’t always feel like the natural thing to do. On days with overwhelming to-do lists, conflicts, frustrations, or disappointments, it can be easy to choose an attitude of defeat.
Feeling defeated is essentially feeding into the idea that because something is hard, it’s not worth doing. It’s giving up, giving in, and giving over our lives to the lie that because we don’t feel like enough, we aren’t enough. When we’re faced with trials in life, the truth of the matter is that we don’t always have what it takes to fulfill our callings on our own. But there’s a courageous alternative to a defeated attitude, and it’s surrender.
Like defeat, surrender admits our weakness. But unlike defeat, it embraces the reality that we don’t need to bring more than ourselves to the table. If all we can give is a little, that’s enough for God. His strength is glorified in our weakness.
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)
When we’re at the end of ourselves, sometimes all we can offer God is our brokenness. Sometimes our offering is our nothingness, and only the great God of the universe can make something out of that. We don’t always have the knowledge, energy, or experience to be successful in our endeavors. But if we are able to recognize that even the little things can have big implications when we consecrate them to Lord — bringing them forth in holiness — we are creating the opportunity for God to act. Surrender acknowledges that Gods’s action is always better than our own.
Learning how to eat again after a long pattern of denying our bodies isn’t easy. Especially in the beginning, we might stumble more than we succeed. But choosing to keep pushing forward through the discomfort and frustration, and continuing to do the next right thing we know how to do exemplifies an attitude of surrender. It says, “I don’t know how to do this, God, but I know you do.“ Instead of becoming defeated by our struggles and further succumbing to the temptations we face, we can pause, pray, and strive for progress rather than perfection.