Surrendering Our Fix-it Plans to Experience Christ
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
This tax season, while dealing with an unexpected and painful expense, I’m struggling to choose the precious and crucial over the “urgent.” We were forced to dip into our “emergency fund,” a stockpile that became all the more important once he retired. We’ve also learned, to avoid owing money in the future, we need to squeeze a substantial amount from our monthly budget.
Having gone through a period of homelessness as a teen, financial instability is a huge trigger for me. My response is often to strategize and work harder, which is what I did. I began calculating how many book contracts I’d need to sign and articles I’d need to sell to make up our deficit.
I’d need to maximize every moment.
With my schedule filled with deadlines and responsibilities, I popped off a quick prayer for help and peace and got busy.
God’s voice, clear but soft, followed by the gentle tug on my heart to draw closer to Him, spiked my pulse. I felt I didn’t have time, but God persisted, urging me to relinquish my agenda and concerns to sit in His presence.
To become filled. Strengthened.
My struggle to surrender suggested some disturbing truths:
Perhaps I don’t truly believe God is faithful, sovereign, loving and good.
Maybe I doubt He’s sovereign over all the details—including whatever I must drop to prioritize time with Him.
Paul, a first-century evangelist who authored today’s verse, surrendered all he’d once held dear—prestige, stability, freedom and personal safety—in order to “know” Christ deeply and personally.
But instead of feeling deprived, he felt full.
Maybe because, when each loss or difficult decision hit, he focused not on what he was giving up but instead all he’d gain.
I suspect my daily battle would feel a little less intense, more rewarding and fulfilling, if I practiced doing the same.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, releasing in the spring/summer of 2019. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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