Bonnie of Faith Barista invited us to join her for our first Faith Barista Jam of 2013. And this is what she gave for her prompt:
"What is your one word for 2013?"
My word is SURRENDER. I wrote about my one word here. But I think I still have more to say about it.
Many years ago, I probably read every single book that Catherine Marshall wrote. I was inspired by her writings. Maybe you've heard of the book Christy? It was made into a television series starring Kellie Martin. It was the story of an idealistic young girl who became a teacher to the children of a remote town in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Catherine was married to Peter Marshall who became the well known Scottish Chaplain to the Senate in the 1940's. I remember watching the movie "A Man Called Peter". It was about how the couple met, his ministry in Washington DC and his early death. I even took my nieces to the church where Peter Marshall was a pastor when we visited Washington DC.
Meeting God at Every Turn was a book Catherine wrote that especially impacted my heart. As the wife of a well known and highly respected pastor and the mother of a three year old son, she had responsibilities. But Catherine had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and was forced to be bedridden. She prayed for God's healing as she felt so useless in bed. But ...she continued to be sick.
She was confined to bed for three years. However, during that time she helped her husband with his sermons and writings. And she prayed and talked to God. The Lord was doing a mighty work in her heart. She finally prayed what she called the prayer of relinquishment.
Lord, I understand no part of this, but if you want me to be an invalid for the rest of my life -- well, it's up to You. I place myself in your hands, for better or for worse. I only ask to serve You.
How many of you could pray a prayer like that and really mean it? But that ended up being the beginning of Catherine's healing. She slowly began to get better. Before her death in 1983, she wrote many books and impacted many people, including me.
I've prayed that prayer of relinquishment. I can tell you from experience that it helped me through many situations that I had no control over. It requires trust in God. And it comes back to my one word for 2013; SURRENDER.
I think of Paul and how he wrote in Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
I'm in the middle of a Bible study by Catherine Martin called A Heart that Dances. I was once again reminded of Catherine Marshall's prayer of relinquishment. During those three years of illness requiring bed rest she came to know God in a more intimate way. That's what happens when you spend time with God.
How like God to bring to my mind something I needed to remember at the beginning of a new year; my year of SURRENDER!
Blessings and love,