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  • Writer's pictureFaith Hakesley

Unselfish Love: Surrendering to God

+JMJ+ God doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we want Him to.

Trusting in God seems easy when we get our way and he answers our prayers as we hoped he would. It’s easy to say how great and wonderful He is and how, “I knew He would come through for me!”

Cue the praise and worship music.

But that’s not authentic love. That’s not what it means to truly love God and to trust Him.

From Mother Angelica's book "On Suffering and Burnout"

When we find ourselves feeling alone, sad, angry, or anxious, we tend to question God. “Why are you doing this to me, God? Haven’t I been through enough already? Where are you? Why aren’t you helping me?” Suddenly, we feel as if we can no longer trust Him.

Yes, I have been there too.

If only we had such love, trust, and praise for Our Heavenly Father even when He doesn’t answer right away, when He makes us wait, or when His plans aren’t in accordance with our own!

While our reactions to disappointments and suffering are normal on a human level, we do need to work on trusting in God even when things aren’t going the way we want. We need to work on relinquishing control and handing our lives over to Him.

Yes, we do have to take steps to get where God wants us to go. We need to be proactive! It’s not as if we simply pray and then POOF! God performs some magic trick. No, no, no. That’s not how God works.

I know that for many of us it’s hard to stop trying to take over in the God department. Anxieties - often from past experiences - get in the way of our relationship with God and we have a need to control everything and everyone. It’s a defense mechanism. We do it (often unknowingly) so we don’t get hurt again.

That’s not freedom and that’s not showing love. When this lack of trust happens in human relationships, the results aren’t usually good. Being in a good, healthy, and holy relationship with somebody is impossible if you have a need to control their every thought, word, and action. Everyone involved will end up unhappy and relationships will fall apart.

If we truly want to love and serve God, we need to let Him lead even when we don’t understand what He is doing. He is an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful Father who sees the whole picture. We see a mere glimpse.

I know it’s hard but we need to stop expecting that God will do whatever WE see fit for our lives. Do we not trust that His plan not always better? He knows what He is doing. He knows the reasons, the timeframe, all the answers.

No, we don’t have to sit back and just roll with the punches. But before you start making all these big plans for your life, remember to talk to God. Ask Him what He wants for you and ask Him for the grace to accept His will for your life. Really and truly listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Seek out spiritual counseling if necessary.

As Mother Angelica so wisely says, “Any friendship not based on a mutual giving will not last. Selfish love cannot exist between friends for very long, and if that love is the basis of our friendship to God, it is a disaster. Yet to live on a selfish level is so basic to our nature. We tend to love Him on the same level as we love our neighbor-for what He does or can give us.”

When we unselfishly turn ourselves over to God - whether we “feel” it or not - we will come to love Him more unselfishly.

Practice loving God in an unselfish kind of way. Trust in God. Surrender to Him.

Jesus, I surrender myself to you!

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