My guest today is Author Tamera Alexander who is sharing about what God is teaching her about “I surrender all.” Tamera has also offered a book giveaway for one of the commenters. So look for the question at the end. Here’s Tamera:
“For the past two years, God has really been working within me to cultivate a spirit of surrender, yet I’m still so far from being fully surrendered to Him in any area of life.
I want to be surrendered. I want to want what He wants for me more than I want what I want for myself. And I do…with my head. But so many times, my emotions tell a very different story. So it’s no surprise that this theme of surrender wove a thread through my latest novel that releases this week. Claire Laurent, the heroine in A Lasting Impression, mirrors some of my personal struggle in her own need to surrender her desires.
I love Jeremiah 29:11-13, a much-quoted and familiar promise:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
Sounds great, doesn’t it? God’s plans are for good, not harm. Giving us a future and hope. This is all great stuff! But…
Are you familiar with verse 10 of that same chapter, and verse 14? The two verses that bracket that promise we love to quote? They’re not as frequently quoted, but they should be:
Let’s read that passage again, beginning with verse 10 and reading through verse 14:
“This is what the Lord says, “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you, says the Lord. I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your land.”
Wait a minute! Captivity? He’s promising captivity? AKA: struggle, hardship, things we wouldn’t choose for ourselves? May I please skip that part of the promise? But therein lies the rub…
In order to become more like Christ, we must accept the full promises of God. And that means following His lead, no matter that it leads us down roads we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. Or that it means being held captive by [or enduring for a time] a certain hurt or painful circumstance, because within that pain is a path to greater closeness to God.
And isn’t that the ultimate goal of our earthly journey and God’s will for us here…to grow closer to Him? To become more like Christ.
So take Jeremiah’s promise to heart… God does indeed have a distinct purpose and plan for you and me, and it’s one that He’s plotted with our eternal best in mind.
Tamera invites you to visit her at:
Her Web site www.tameraalexander.com
Her blog www.tameraalexander.blogspot.com
TAMERA ALEXANDER is a bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, and the Carol Award. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children, and a precocious Silky Terrier named Jack.
Wow, I’m really happy Tamera reminded us of the FULL EYE-OPENING quote of that treasured verse–the part we don’t usually focus on.
Have you ever felt as if you’d been taken “captive” by something? I know I have–many times. I don’t enjoy stressful times where I or my family are caught by a trial or time of testing. I know that the Apostle James wants us to count it all joy, but I’m not there yet.
Could you encourage us with a story that has come full circle where you’ve endured and surrendered and come out on the other side, grateful?
Or you in the midst of one right now? Feel free to share or just to leave “unspoken request” as a reply. I’ll pray over those this week. God is faithful.–Lyn