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Monday, June 25, 2012

Grandma’s Prayer of Relinquishment

By Rick Blumenberg / @rickblumenberg 

A book that touched me deeply many years ago was Beyond Ourselves, by Catherine Marshall.  (Fleming H. Revell Co, 1994.) Especially helpful was chapter six, entitled “The Prayer of Relinquishment”. In it she told of a time in her life when she was ill and did not begin to get better until after she surrendered her health to God and agreed in her heart and mind to trust him for the outcome and not worry about the future. It was definitely a turning point in her life.

Perhaps, however, I came to understand the concept most fully many years later when talking with my paternal Grandmother as I worked on our family genealogy. She told me of a painful time in her life—the illness and death of her youngest son as a small child. It illustrated to me that the prayer of relinquishment had been around long before I had heard about it.

Fifty years later my Grandmother could still vividly recall that difficult experience. She said,

"I did everything I could to help and prayed for the Lord to heal him, but when he kept getting worse, I just gave him to the Lord and said that whether he lived or died, I wanted God’s Will to be done.  One of my neighbors asked me how I could do such a thing, but I knew God always does what is best."

Clarence died of pneumonia in March of 1938, about four months before his third birthday. I don’t know why Clarence died and I don’t know why God didn’t do anything to prevent his death. But I do know Grandma was right, God can be trusted, whatever happens.

We don’t, however, want to make the mistake of thinking that every time we surrender fully to God something bad will happen. Usually the result is good, whether we see it immediately or later after the perspectives of time and later life events give a better understanding. Most of the time surrender is necessary so God can remove something from our lives that otherwise precludes something better. Surrender to God often brings our greatest freedom and joy whether or not it brings what we think is best for us (or what we desire) at the time.

To be in a loving and intimate relationship with Almighty God is a blessing beyond description. He cares about your situation and wants to help you to experience life that is full, abundant and filled with his blessing. I hope you have that kind of relationship with God and if you don’t, I hope you soon come to know him. Here is a prayer that may be helpful to you:

God, help me to always trust you so completely that no matter what difficulties I face in life, I can know it is safe to surrender them completely to you. I know that whatever you want to do is always what is best for your kingdom and I know it is also what is always best for me.
I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


Laryssa-5 said...

Thank you, Rick. Just read this to Louis. I lost a daughter & the part about not being afraid to surrender to God really hit me. I don't think I even realized I was afraid. =( Letting go, surrendering, & letting Him carry me thru that difficult time is something I wouldn't trade & will certainly never forget. God is truly good & knows the plans He has for me...thanks again for the reminder. =)

Rick Blumenberg said...

Lynn, I thought I answered this comment, but don't see it here. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We lost a child in a miscarriage back when they didn't let you grieve. They just told s to not worry, there would be other children. We weren't even told if the child was a boy or girl, but a friend at the hospital told us he was a boy. One of the joys of heaven will be meeting him in person.