Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?
We recently took in two new foster dogs. They are ten year old, Chihuahua siblings named Bandit and Sophie. Having been in one home their entire lives, my household has been a culture shock to them. Both little guys are “typical Chihuahuas” in that they are nippy and snappy, but as they have adjusted to our family, they have become more at ease. We are seeing less bared teeth and are receiving more snuggles. (Y’all, they are a hoot – especially when trying to convince our three Golden Retrievers that they are as big as they are. Our Goldens roll their eyes at the display and go lay down.) When we approach the Chihuahuas to pick them up, they are quick to roll over on their back. In dog speak this means, “We surrender. We submit. We trust that you will not harm us. We are not a threat to you.” They communicate this by exposing their most vulnerable places (for a dog that is the neck and belly).
Humans have a harder time learning to submit than dogs do. We tend to want to be the one in control, the one calling the shots. We think of submission and surrendering as weakness, but God calls us to do both. One of the most loved scriptures (also one of my personal favorites) is found in Proverbs 3:5-6. It reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Though this verse is often quoted, how often is it lived?
In 1913, William Borden abandoned his family’s fortune to become a missionary. Having given his life to God under the teachings of D.L. Moody, he became impassioned for the lost. Against the will of his father, he left behind his Yale education and headed East. His goal was to work with Muslims in China. Before arriving in China, he boarded with a Syrian family in Cairo to study Islam and learn Arabic. During that time he contracted cerebral meningitis. He died before he ever reached China. When his belongings were returned to his mother, she found written in his Bible three simple phrases: No Reserves (with a date written when he renounced his fortune), No Retreats (with a date written after his father told him he would never hold a place in the family business), No Regrets (with a date written shortly before his death).
- No Reserves – I have decided to follow Jesus.
- No Retreats – Though none go with me, still I will follow.
- No Regrets – The world behind me, the cross before me.
William Borden surrendered his life to the call of Christ. He trusted God and made himself vulnerable by denying wealth, comfort, and position. And he submitted to God by saying, “Not my will but your will be done.”
Luke 9:23-24 reads, “Jesus said, “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” It was engraved on William Borden’s grave, “Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation of such a life.” I would hope at the end of my life, the same could be said for me. What about you?
Father, help each of us to yield our lives to you daily. Help us to fully submit to your will, and to trust in your plans. Help us surrender all. In Jesus name, amen.
Have a blessed week, y’all!