I remember the weekend I found this sign. It snowed while we were in Ellijay, Georgia and it was beautiful–and I felt like God did it just for ME!
This was back before all the good stores closed–and this picture may have been taken in Blue Ridge, GA, again, before all the good stores closed. Now it’s new stuff and commercialized. Few have a walk down memory lane “used-thrift-store-stuff and antiques”. It’s disappointing to say the least. But I digress.
When I saw the yield sign, I knew it meant something. I’ve stopped on the road side before and snapped a picture of a yield sign because someone put a few bullet holes in it. Holmes County Florida–probably a teenager with not enough to keep him busy at home and no curfew. (Don’t get me started on that…)
Anyway –yield signs speak to me. They say stop. Become aware of where you are and where you’re headed. Are you going YOUR way -or His way. (Can we just pause so I can say: Yield. To. His. Plan.)
As we have approached 2022, never imagining in my wildest dreams 20 years ago that we would ever be here, I look back contemplatively at the last several years: Where did it go and what did I do with the time spent? Ever wonder that yourself?
I have walked through some places I wouldn’t want to walk again—yet, to hear the voice of God as I have heard Him in the past six years, I would.
I spent some time the last few days looking backwards through some prayer journals at what God has done in my life—and I am still amazed: Healed of cancer. Healed through chemo and radiation, both of which I felt would kill me, yet did not.
I experienced Him healing my raw radiation damaged skin almost overnight and layer it with brand new skin. The two radiation technicians were so stunned— (they had seen it the day before), that one called the other in to see–and then they called the doctor in to be a witness to the miracle that had begun in 24 short hours. God can do a LOT in a little time. Remember what He did in just six days?
I witnessed firsthand how God uses our circumstances to draw us closer to Him, reach others for Him, reveal our shortcomings to us, and bring glory to His name all at the same time.
I wouldn’t have chosen that—but He knew what I would be on the other side of it. Changed.
Through various things in my life, from rebellion as a teenager and even as a young adult, to almost losing both my daughters at different times and very different circumstances (April’s car accident and Tiffany, when her little Zackary was born); God has taught me more about submission than I could have imagined.
Submission is hard. I have watched a young lady I love very much struggle with it, even get angry about it—and I want to hold her close and tell her if she will stop fighting it and lean on God—He will help her. But this is something, as painful as it will be for her, she will have to learn from Him. Just like I did. And she will see her relationship with Him—grow.
I think as long as we live we will keep learning the art of submission. Jesus displayed this daily. At the end of His earthly ministry—He prayed, “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). He knew what was about to happen—yet He submitted.
We experience submission in daily living. Sickness takes a toll and changes the way we operate on a daily basis. Just look around at what the C* virus has done to our lives and routines.
Before Christmas my dad underwent open heart surgery. It was either submit to surgery or plan to die. There was no middle ground and there were no “if-and’s-or but’s”. Death would come. Of course, we know that death will still come, should the Lord tarry –but it would come much sooner for him without the surgery.
After the surgery there are still lessons in submission. The doctor has orders. Our body dictates what it will and won’t do. And we submit to the complete painful exhaustion of the process of healing. But healing and strength will come—and much sooner if we submit.
Surrendering to the Holy Spirit is often the same. I’ve had my own painful times of learning to surrender and submit to Him—and the same results occur. While the act of surrendering or submitting—both mean to yield, it is not the same as “giving up”. To give up means to cease making an effort; resign oneself to failure.
As we surrender, we do so with a fortitude (stubbornness) that will carry us through the hardest times.
My mother and I had a conversation one morning recently about the stubborn gene trait in the women of our family. While we are sometimes tenacious or stubborn it doesn’t mean we don’t surrender at the appropriate time. We submit to authority—but we can stubbornly push ourselves forward to complete a task when our body feels it has reached its limit. I believe the stubborn gene trait was an asset to me when I had cancer.
In the new year- I am quite sure we will find places to stubbornly push ourselves forward when we really feel like giving up—and I believe we will also feel the urgency to surrender to the Holy Spirit when He reminds us—we don’t have to do this alone. He is with us—just as the ministering angel was with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane –so the Holy Spirit is with us. (Luke 22:43)
Without my biggest surrender in 2009 by getting on my first airplane–I would not be where I am today–with a storehouse of memories, miracles and blessings–more than I ever imagined I would ever see and experience.
My thought line of airplanes was quite ridiculous…”If God wanted me to fly–He would have given me wings”….and….”Oh, I’ll fly one day–when I fly up to Heaven.” (Sounds just like some little granny would say. Trouble was–I was saying this in my 20’s!). I was afraid. Fear kept me on the ground while God wanted me to soar and see new things.
Can I offer a suggestion for your own 2022? Don’t be afraid. When something new comes your way–pray about it and then if you feel God directing you toward the “fearful thing”…go after it with gusto! If it’s beginning your own new business–or going back to school…or stepping out in faith in a ministry you feel called to do…Hold His hand tight and GO FOR IT!
Can we also encourage those around us?
Maybe they struggle with surrender.
Maybe we just need to let them know they aren’t alone? Or, perhaps they don’t know Jesus—it’s very possible they’ve never encountered a moment to need Him with such urgency as we’ve had in the past years.
No matter what this new year brings, let us look to Him—as we face the year in faith, fully surrender to His guidance…and He will carry us all the way Home.
© Angie Knight. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. A portion used by permission of the author in January 2022 edition of StreetTalk Magazine.