i never knew surrender could feel so free

this whole experience with my grandfather in the hospital has really taught me a lot. it’s taught me about god. it’s taught me about life. it’s taught me about people.

and through this whole issue, it’s the people that have hurt the most.

don’t get me wrong, knowing that my grandpa, my peepaw, is in the hospital and may never get out hurts. i’ve cried numerous times. i’ve teared up big time when telling people about it when they’ve asked. it hurts. in my mind, he was supposed to marry me and my wife. he was supposed to be there when i got my first church, mentoring me and showing me the ropes. he was supposed to go to games with me when i moved back home. he was supposed to sit in his chair and joke around while i sat on the couch.

and now there’s a very good chance that none of that will happen.

and you know what? i’m starting to be ok with that.

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: i would love for my peepaw to do cartwheels down the halls of forsyth hospital tomorrow and preach on sunday morning. i’d drive two and a half hours just to hear him. and i know god can make that happen.

but if he doesn’t want that to happen, i don’t want it to happen.

i’m a part of a family and a church body that claims to be christians. they claim to be followers of christ. they say the right things, sing the right songs, and they genuinely look the part.

but they’re selfish.

and really, we’re all selfish. in our own skin, and in our own flesh, we’re all selfish. it takes an extra effort to lay what we want down and ask for something someone else wants. that’s hard. i get it.

but it’s what jesus told us to do.

we’re taught in the bible that we have to lay our wants and our desires down for god’s. we’re taught that we’re to live for his kingdom. we’re taught that what god wants sometimes is hard to understand, but in the end it’s good.

but we don’t live that way.

through this whole process i keep hearing people telling others to pray that peepaw is healed. they keep telling people to do this religious activity and that religious activity in order to maybe convince god to heal this man. yes, there is a place and a time for those activities, but just because you do them does not mean that you’re going to change god’s mind.

when we ask for god to do what we want, and not what he wants, we put him in a box. we say to him that we know what’s best, that what we want is what’s going to be the best possible result in a situation.

i absolutely refuse to put god in a box. i will not do it.

i don’t usually reference scripture on here, but i’m going to do it this time. in matthew 26 jesus goes into the garden to pray. he knows that by the end of the night, he is going to be betrayed and that the next day he’s going to be beaten and killed.

so here we have jesus, who is completely god and can do whatever he wants, on his face praying.

he says to god something along the lines of, “hey, i really don’t wanna die tomorrow. if we could do something else instead of that, i’d really like that.”

but unlike us, unlike the selfishness in our hearts, he doesn’t stop there.

he goes on to say, “but more than that, i want your will to be done, not mine. if i have to die to bring this to pass, then i will.”

imagine if we as a family, we as a church, we as a community laid our wants down and instead asked for what god wants. imagine what this world could become if we had a multitude of believers saying, “hey god, this is what i’d like, but more than that, i want you to do what you wanna do.” imagine how this world could change if we were to pray like that instead of praying for ourselves.

i don’t want my peepaw to die. i don’t. the thought of it alone makes my eyes well up. it’s a thought that i really don’t like thinking about.

but if god has said that this is the time for him to go home then i can accept that. and if this is his time, and god’s telling him to come on home, then i have no doubt in my mind that he’ll walk up to the gates of heaven to a standing ovation knowing that he did what god called him to do and that he was a living sacrifice to jesus.

it’s time that we stop asking god for what we want. it’s time for us to stop asking for the things that make us feel good. it’s time for us to stop asking for the things that make us comfortable.

instead, it’s time to start asking for what god wants.

it’s time to start praying for what god wants.

it’s time to start begging for what god wants.

then, and only then, will we start to understand how powerful and perfect the god we serve is.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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4 thoughts on “i never knew surrender could feel so free

  1. I completely agree. There have been numerous times when I have asked God to make things better, but I always end my prayer with, “God whatever it is that you’re doing, whatever it is that your plan is, please help me understand and trust that you know best. You will never give us anything that we can not handle. Please give me strength and faith to trust in you during this time.” I know that we can’t be selfish. I’ve said that over and over, and thank you for encouraging me to continue to pray like this. Whatever God is trying to show us through this situation, I know that Peepaw is more than happy to be His muse. I believe he is proud.

    (on a side note, I think it is funny that no one else has commented on this post. I’ll leave it at that.)

    I love you, and Peepaw will still, not matter the outcome, be there to guide you. No matter what happens he’ll always be in your heart, and his voice and lessons will always be in your mind.

    -Jaymie

  2. I forgot to say that by praying this way, the way that you wrote about, I have found peace. I still am very upset, but I am at peace with God. This has never happened before in my life.

  3. Johnathan and Jaymie I am very proud of the maturity (physical and mostly Spiritual) that you are both showing, I like everyone at Harvest temple and in the city of King love your Peepaw and family very much. My prayer all along has been that God would give Pastor a complete and total healing however he sees fit and to strengthen and comfort his family. Rest assured your Peepaw would be proud of how you are handling everything. I Love You All and am here if you need me.

  4. Thanks Mrs. Debbie. I am glad to hear that. I also heard about your good news from the doctor and I think it’s wonderful!

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