Baseline Weekly - Dwelling with Jesus

I love being an Auntie. My almost-4-year-old nephew recently sent me a video message where he said, “Auntie Katrina, you want to come here at our house sometime this year? You wanna do it? Come on, then.” I mean, how sweet is that. He had such an innocent, excited smile on his face. I couldn’t help but want to smile big back and say YES!

Reflecting on this, I thought about Jesus’s invitation to me, his invitation to his house, to dwell with him. I imagine him saying, “You wanna do it? Come on, then. What are you waiting for?” Jesus says this with excitement in the most gentle way. He is excited for us to dwell with him. He wants us to say YES and take the first step to join him in whatever it is He is laying out before us.

You may be thinking, well, I’ve said yes to Jesus, I believe in him, so how does this apply to me? This led me to think deeply about surrender. Yes, surrender. Surrender applies to each of us, no matter where we are in our walk with Jesus. I know we don’t like that word very much sometimes. It makes us uncomfortable; it makes us squirm a little; surrender requires change and change is hard. We don’t want Jesus to ask too much of us. We fight surrendering because we want to control as much as we can. I know. Or am I the only one who does this? All joking aside, Jesus’s invitation to us is sweet and beckoning; this is about truly, deeply surrendering in order to dwell with Jesus and let his life live through our lives. He patiently and expectantly awaits our response to his invitation: “come on, then.”

As you can tell, right now I’m being challenged by what surrender looks like and what it means for my life. Have I been challenged by this before? Yes. Do I have to keep learning the same things over and over? Yes. Does that make Jesus turn his back on me? No. Does that change Jesus’s invitation? No. He still wants me to come to him.

I know that surrender requires deep soul work. My guess is that many of you, like me and many others in our communities and our world, are faced with a similar challenge right now especially, but even before the pandemic if we’re honest. Will we fully and authentically surrender our lives to Jesus and do the soul work?

This can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re like me and you want to do everything the “right” way when maybe there isn’t even a “right” way. So start with something that feels small, or start with something that feels big. We each will go about this in a different way and that’s part of the beauty of surrender to Jesus. He has made each of us unique and he delights in whatever it is we start with that he puts on our hearts. We may not know where the path will lead, but He goes before us! Rest is in his patient love for you and his desire to dwell with you. I want to smile big and jump into what Jesus has for me if I truly surrender to him. He’s inviting you and me into a full life where we dwell with him: “You wanna do it? Come on, then.”

A friend posted this beautiful prayer recently and I keep coming back to it, so I leave it here for you: Beloved Source of Security, I wish for total freedom from all forms of destructive fear. In its place, lead me into the freedom of surrender. You hold me while I grow, and in this confidence I release my anxieties about my life - its survival and success - and trust you with my unfolding story. Amen. - Peter Traben Haas