Theology & Worldview

Looking Backward, Moving Forward: Surrendering the Future

What does it mean to surrender something to God? Every single day I tell God that I surrender myself, my school, and whatever I am thinking about to Him. And that seems really great! And many times it does give me peace, for a short time, at least. However, when things go terribly wrong, I don’t know what to think. Was I the one who failed or do I dare say that God did? However, as I read one specific passage in the Bible, I found clarity about God and myself: Psalm 22.

I had failed in every possible way. I knew one of my long-time goals would not be reached because of my failures. So there I sat. Angry with myself. Unsure about my future. Feeling confused and powerless. Until I saw God, through the perfect song that came on. The song was called Wanted by Danny Gokey. The bridge said, “Not rejected, not unwelcome.” It was like God was talking to me. I felt like a failure, like someone who was invisible to the rest of the world. Then, I realized that God did care about me! Sometimes in the middle of the hard times, even though I know that God has a plan and will work it all out, I start to doubt if God cares. I mean, He isn’t working the way I want Him to. I feel like He is held back by my failures and the problems of the world. But, He isn’t. I knew it then. God did care about me. He was working in me even through my failures.

The Psalm starts with these chilling words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” [ESV]

Honestly, just hearing those words scares me. Because immediately, it makes me remember Christ Jesus. He says these exact same words at the cross. David here was in some way looking forward to that cross. But, you have to ask, how can David feel that way? It basically seems like David is blaming God for his problems!

What we don’t realize is that even in the depth of suffering David calls God, His God. However, David does feel lost. He sees who God is in later verses but doesn’t understand why God doesn’t seem to be working now.

I feel what David feels! In my life, I have had so many plans and dreams. I have dreamed of winning speech tournaments, getting into amazing universities, and even just not having as many character flaws as I do now. Now, I’m a senior and half of those plans are not working out and I have failed in so many different ways. I feel like God has left me to my own sin and problems and is not saving me.

Here is the ironic part though. When those words are said by Jesus Himself in the depth of His suffering like no one else before or after, God was still there. Yes, God was showing His righteous wrath fully on Christ. However, God’s plan was being fulfilled at that moment to result in this grand and beautiful hope.

As David cries out to His God, he sees that too. He sees God’s past faithfulness and calls out to God to help. Then, something suddenly changes. In verse 21 he says, “You have rescued me…” God did come through!

Then, David rejoices with all of Israel also looking forward to the resurrection of Christ as everyone rejoices. In the end, he ends with realizing that “kingship belongs to the Lord” and that “he has done it”.

God works in mysterious ways! Yet, He does not always work in the way that we expect him to. He is bigger than your problems, failures, and even your future. It is all nothing in light of who He is. So, as you move on to wherever you are going in life, surrender and trust Him. He will always be your God. Surrender your futures to God. Wherever you go, pray that He will be there. Trust that He will choose the best path even when you feel like He’s not with you. Give it all up! God shall do it!

8 Comments

  1. A great encouragement and reminder of God’s good purposes. Thank you so much for this! Great job!

  2. Good job on this article! I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to write with you one last time, but it was an honor getting to work with you this past year, and I wish you good luck on the next part of your journey!

    • Aww, Carolyn. Thank you so much. You have been such a great writer to work with and I truly enjoyed everything we were able to talk about and write on together. Praying for you!

  3. I sometimes also feel like God has just left me, and this is a great reminder to keep surrendering and trusting God. He will come through! Thank you!

    • So true, Lynn! I completely feel you. Glad that we have a God who is always faithful and trustworthy!

  4. A great encouragement, great job on this article! I sometimes also feel like God has just left me.