Written by Angela Sutsakhan
This week a box arrived in the mail and on the cover was one of my favorite verses. When I opened an email the next day, God again put that verse before me. It is a verse that has encouraged me since I was a child, Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose.”
I never tire of hearing this verse as it reminds me of God’s provision in my life and what He has brought me through.
When I was about ten years old, my parents separated and were heading toward divorce. From my perspective, I felt truly hopeless. I remember the back and forth between each parent’s house trying to settle in, but never feeling comfortable at either place. There were many nights of uncertainty and sadness. I was able to go to a Christian camp for a week and it was there that I first heard this powerful verse.
I believed it in my head, but found it hard to believe in my heart. I really felt like divorce was imminent and didn’t believe that things would work out. There was too much pain and too many hurts.
Yet God does things way beyond our wildest imaginations. Ephesians 3:20 says:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”
God healed my parents’ marriage and our family was reunited. They dismissed the advice of people in the church who told them they should divorce, and instead, listened to God alone. They forgave each other and were willing to humble themselves before God and be obedient to Him. Instead of hanging on to what they each wanted to do, they submitted to God’s plan for them.
God has taught me so much through their willingness to submit to God.
I’ve been a wife now for 21 years and have been close to giving up on my marriage. I’ve been at that place in marriage that seems beyond repair. I’ve cried out to God to change the situation and take me out of the pain I was facing. There were times where it seemed as if my prayers were falling on deaf ears as I didn’t see any change. In my own marriage, I have felt the same hopelessness that I felt as a child.
It wasn’t easy for my parents just as it isn’t easy for me, but God has taught me to trust Him when I don’t understand and to believe His Word and His promises. Romans 8:28 has stayed with me throughout my life.
God has a plan and a purpose in the midst of our pain. We don’t always know how a situation will work out, but we can trust that God will bring good from it. The first step is surrender to Him. Giving Him the control and letting Him have His way in our life is how we get started.
When we surrender our will, our lives, and our plans, it’s only then that God is able to work in the midst of our problems. It doesn’t mean that our situations will change, as some of life’s problems don’t have a solution this side of heaven. It does mean that our perspectives will change, and how we react to life’s difficult situations will change.
When we surrender, we trust God and we let Him be in control of our lives. It’s a choice we make every day to let God have His way.
How does God want you to surrender today? It’s only with surrender that we are truly free.