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Surrendering Control




Sometimes the miracle doesn’t look the way we think it should look.

Sometimes the miracle is hidden in what transpires in the middle.


One of my favorite books of the bible is the book of Mark.


The first Bible study I completed after losing Ellie was on the book of Mark. Every single day, I’d sit up in my office trying to gather every ounce of anything I had left to pour into this bible study.

The whole book is amazing but there is one part in particular that wrecks me every time.


In Mark chapter 6, Jesus and his disciples came into Nazareth and began teaching to the people of his hometown. His own family and friends questioned him, questioned his wisdom, and questioned the miracles he had performed with his own two hands. Verse 3 says, “they were offended by him.” His own family, offended by the savior of our world. “Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household. He was not able to do a miracle there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them” (Mark 6:4-5).


Mark 6:6 says, “And he was amazed at their unbelief.” This is one of two times scripture tells us Jesus was amazed. (The other time is in Luke 7:9).


Jesus had an extremely low miracle count in his hometown. It wasn’t because He wasn’t able, but because He refused. He refused to preform healings like they were magic tricks for an audience that had no faith in Him. It wasn’t that He “could not,” but that He “would not.”


When I read this chapter of Mark, it brings me back to that day Eleanor went to be with Jesus.

The three hours that passed between the time of her accident and the time she had entered heaven felt like mere seconds. I was filled with a tremendous amount of unbelief. Unbelief at what had even happened.


But more so, unbelief that she would be okay. I don’t think I really believed that she could be healed.

When I think back on that day, there are times where I wonder if my belief had been bigger, would the outcome have been different?


If I had believed then, what I believe now, would I have seen a real-life miracle?

I wanted God to show up so that I had proof of his existence.


But that’s not having faith. Faith is believing even when you cannot see.


I found myself wondering if God was so amazed at my own unbelief that this was the only way He could bring me to fully surrender.


Was this the only way to make sure I had eternal life with her, not just this earthly life?


There is nothing else that could have happened in my life that would have caused me to finally let go of anything this world has to offer and actually look up to the One who has everything to give.


Nothing else would have given me the deep desire to understand it all. Even if she had been healed, we would have gone back to life as normal, living half in and half out. Having faith when we needed it, forgetting it when we didn’t. I’m not sure that would have been enough to save our souls for eternity.

The journey that God guides you on during grief opens your eyes to a new perspective.

It helps you finally understand things that have never made sense.


It shifts your mindset from this temporary suffering, to the eternal glory that awaits you in heaven.


Sometimes the miracle is hidden beneath your disappointment in God not showing up how you thought He should.


God not showing up to preform the miracle I wanted on my own timeline led me to a lot of disappointment. It left me with nothing but questions. Many of those questions I won’t have the answer to during my life on this side of heaven.


No matter what you believe, there will be a time where you are no longer on this earth. And when you are gone, your life will feel like it was a single tick on a clock.


If God had saved Ellie, and given me our time here on earth together, what would that have meant for eternity? Would that have secured my soul to have eternal life with her in heaven? Or was this the only way?


In Mark 10:17, Jesus was getting ready to head out on another journey and a man runs up to him and asks him “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”


Jesus responds in verse 19-22 “You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” The man said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.” Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving because he had many possessions.”


Right here, Jesus tells us how we can ensure we have eternal life. By letting go of the things of this world. It’s not enough to simply make good choices, to not murder, to not cheat on your spouse.

It is by submitting all control, and realizing you didn’t have any to begin with.


What you hold onto the most is often times where you trust God the least. 


For me, that has always been control. I had an idea of what I thought my life was supposed to look like. I had the plan, I just needed God to work things out for the way I wanted.


Navigating child loss was not what I wanted.


Grieving my little girl was definitely not part of my plan.


But God reminds us we were never in control.


He reminds us that our possessions on this earth are not ours to begin with. Our job is to trust that when we are left with nothing, He will provide everything.  He tells us to come to Him, and to follow Him.


This man, instead, ran away grieving his possessions because he didn’t want to let them go.


I don’t know why it took losing Ellie for me to finally surrender over control.


I wish there had been any other way. But for reasons I hope to find out one day, God is using this to work out the plan He has for my life.


He is using this to fix my unbelief.


He is using this so that I will go and follow him.


God didn’t show up in the way that I wanted, but maybe He showed up in the way that I needed.


Maybe, that’s the miracle.

 

3 Comments

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Guest
Feb 20
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Wow. This really is something to have on the forefront of our minds. How convicting. Thank you for sharing

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Guest
Feb 13
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

A great message.

It really amazed me and made me really think, when you stated that we never have any control anyway, we just think that we do.

So simple, but yet so profound!

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Guest
Feb 13
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

You’re so strong to have this outlook.

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