When we think of the word surrender, I’m pretty sure there are many negative connotations that are attached to that word. Words like failure, weakness and fear may bubble to the front of our consciousness. We usually think we are better off if we feel we are in control. We often think that we know best how to take care of ourselves. This was very much true for the Prodigal Son.

In Luke 15, we find this son asking his father for everything that he felt was due him. He wanted to do life his own way. His father allowed him to do just that. He didn’t try to force him to stay. The son took the money and traveled to a far off country. He spent the money on all the things that he thought would bring him happiness and fulfillment. His plan was working well for him…until it wasn’t. His money ran out and he found himself starving. All the “happiness” that he bought, didn’t last.

The parable of the Prodigal Son may seem extreme to some. We may think that we would never go that far. But how far is too far? In our walk with Jesus, it is important to take stock of the things we are not willing to surrender to Him. How about our fear and anxiety? Our obsession with being in control? Our anger at God for allowing painful things in our lives? Our frustration in waiting for His timing and answers? Our wounds, pain, shame and the lies that we believe? All of these ways that we try to “take care of ourselves” on our own power, actually steal our joy and the abundant life that Jesus wants for us.

Luke 15 continues and says “when he came to his senses (decided that he didn’t make a very good god), he repented and surrendered. He saw his wrongdoing and decided to humbly return to his father not expecting any more than to just be fed. He found his father running towards him with open arms rejoicing that his son had returned. No judgment… just joy. He found the abundant life that his father had for him all along.

How about you? Ask your Father to help you recognize and surrender the things that are keeping you from the abundant life of love, joy, peace, purpose and fulfillment that He has for you.

Kathy Moratto
Counseling Director

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