There is strength in submission.
I read this chapter on Christmas Eve night and several things stood out, but mostly this–there is strength in submission.
“Human relationships are not designed to be a raw contest of power and strength but rather a self-controlled acceptance of clearly outlined roles. Therefore, we exert our greatest influence in life by knowing how to harness and safeguard our own strong wills.”
What is our example of this? None other than Jesus Himself.
“Jesus, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8 ESV)
“If One so great could display this level of humility in order to achieve a much, much greater result, then what excuse do we have for not choosing to do the same–to forgo our supposed rights in order to acquiesce to God’s designated plan for humanity? To trust His wisdom and insight? To bring Him the most glory, whether we get our way or not?”
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
On Christmas morning I enjoyed a lazy couple of hours with my Bible and journal, just spending time with God and basking in the reality that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Then it was time for the cooking to begin.
My sister and I usually do the cooking for every holiday and this one was no different. So, as she prepared food at her house, I worked at mine. Grandmama came early to play cards with mom, but kept saying how she could help me do anything I needed. I told her everything was under control, but that I’d let her know if i needed anything.
AUTHOR’S NOTE– I’m a pretty awful delegater. It’s really hard for me to tell people what I need help with, and a lot of times I believe the lie that by the time I explained what I needed done I would have had enough time to do it all myself (and probably better, to be painfully honest. Read: P-R-I-D-E).
So as I stood over the stove sautéing onions and slicing lemons, the words of Priscilla Shirer in this resolution came to my mind: there is strength in submission.
No, I didn’t have to submit to my grandmother in anything, but I needed to humble myself to allow her to help me, to serve me even though I could have done it all by myself. Even if it meant having lunch on the table a few minutes later than planned. Even though it meant releasing control.
And let me tell you, it was one of the greatest mornings ever. What a blessing it was working side by side with my grandmother, the one who taught me to cook everything from Christmas cookies to indoor s’mores and everything in between as well as the greatest thing she taught me in the kitchen: to sprinkle extra love in everything you bake… and the value of a well-licked beater.
It was a blessing I would have severely missed if I would have tried to do everything by myself.
She needed to be needed and I really did need help. But more than that, God taught me this valuable lesson (probably not for the last time) and I got to speak with my grandmother about God.
The door flung wide open to speak of the Lord and tell of His excellent greatness as we made Christmas dinner. Starting with me asking a general question (it’s what I do), it branched off into her sharing her testimony of how God saved her (I’ve never heard it). We washed and dried dishes side by side as her tears fell and mingled with the dish water while she shared how our beautiful Redeemer saved her from her morality.
Her story is much the same as mine and I would have missed it all has God not prompted me to do that which is so difficult for me–ask for help.
So let’s make this resolution together- the resolution to humble ourselves and follow the stunning example of our Savior by clothing ourselves in humility and compassion, being willing to let others help us while we seek to serve everyone we encounter. Submitting to God’s plan, not ours.
“A place of freedom and peace awaits every woman who aligns herself with God’s design. It’s up to us to expose the lies of our age and to remind this generation of the true beauty and value of the submitted woman.”