Trust in God completely

A dear friend recently asked if I could explain what it meant to “surrender all to God.”

The word surrender is derived from the Greek word “paradidomi” which means to yield up, transmit, or entrust. Surrendering all to God means to yield upward, to place all our worries in His hands and to let go. It requires that you transmit or tell Him exactly what you are surrendering. Surrendering all to God’s will requires that you trust Him completely, accepting that He will always look out for your best interests. The hard part is the letting go, entrusting God with your life.

We often hear of “submitting to God’s will” instead of “surrendering all to God.” While similar there are subtle yet critically important differences between submission and surrender.Brennan Manning, in The Importance of Being Foolish, writes that “there is an essential difference between submission and surrender. The former is the conscious acceptance of reality. There is a superficial yielding, but tension continues…It is halfhearted acceptance. It is described by words such as resignation, compliance, acknowledgement, concession. There remains a feeling of reservation, a tug in the direction of non-acceptance. Surrender, on the other hand, is the moment when my forces of resistance cease to function, when I cannot help but respond to the call of the Spirit. The ability to surrender is a gift of God. However eagerly we may desire it, however diligently we may strive to acquire it, surrender cannot be attained by personal endeavor.”When we submit we remain in control; when we surrender we let go, consciously choosing to surrender the control of our lives into God’s hands. When we submit, we “give in,” while remaining focused on ourselves; when we surrender, we “give over,” putting the focus where it belongs: on God.

Earlier this year, a few weeks prior to major surgery, I was tormented by thoughts of my own mortality. Nightmarish visions filled my mind, sleep was elusive, and fear pervaded my senses. One morning, with my mind swirling with anxious thoughts, I remember praying “God, I praise your promise; in you I trust, I do not fear,…” [Psalm 56:11-12] and at that moment I found myself surrendering all to God and I was at peace. The fear and anxiety were gone, surrendered, given up to God. I no longer owned them; most importantly, they no longer owned me.

To “surrender all to God” means to place all that we are, all that we have, all that we will ever be in God’s hands. God created us, God loves us, God cares for us, and that is more than enough.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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