I loaded Selah, my 18-month-old daughter, into her car seat and strapped her in. I situated the diaper bag and my purse neatly in the passenger seat next to me. Like most trips home from church, Selah started fussing out of hunger, not to mention it was almost nap time. I very quickly grabbed an applesauce pouch out of her diaper bag, unscrewed the top and handed it back to her. Immediate silence. She was going to town on that pouch. After about a minute, I heard the fussing return. As her mom, I knew exactly what had happened. I didn’t need to look back there to know that her little hands had squeezed out every bit of applesauce she could. To her dismay, she knew there was more in that pouch. She just couldn’t get it out. I reached my hand back. “Selah, I’ll help you. Hand it to Mama. I can get you more.” Her hands clenched tighter, refusing my request.
Here’s what got me: I had done this a million times for her. She knew that I would keep my promise. She knew I would get her the “more” that was stuck at the bottom. Why was this a fight every time? I don’t delight in taking things from her. I delight in providing her with more. I would never take something that brought her joy, unless I knew that its absence would lead to even more joy. Obeying me meant giving up what she wanted in that moment, to trust the promise of something more, something better, coming.
Then it hit me: How many times have I prayed, “God help me to experience more of you; reveal more of yourself to me. Help me to become more like you,” but when He asks me to hand him my anxiety, my fears, my finances, my pride, my past, my need for control, my compulsive need to shop, my unhealthy relationship with sugar, my people-pleasing tendencies, my struggle with social media, my choice TV shows…you name it…I clench tighter.
I know God will keep His promise. I have yet to read a promise of God in the Bible that He has not kept (Joshua 21:45 & 23:14). He has always given me immeasurably more when I’ve obeyed and surrendered (Ephesians 3:20).
God doesn’t delight in taking things from us. He delights in providing us with more. He would never take something that brought us joy, unless He knew that its absence would lead to even more joy (Psalm 84:11). Obeying Him means giving up what we want in the moment, to trust the promise of something more, something better, coming.
Until you surrender everything, you will never experience God the way you were designed to. What are you holding onto that God is asking you to release to Him? He will give you even more. Yes, surrender is hard, but it’s worth it all for more of Him.