Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The pressure and pain of surrender

"What can I say, what can I do? But offer this heart O God completely to you".
This is a line from a popular worship song The Stand by Joel Houston. It speaks of the desire of a person who, recognising all that God has done for them all they want to do is to give everything to God.

It's a sentiment that is said in many places in the bible and also in my favourite hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, with the wonderful line - "love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all".

But how do can I give my heart and my life completely to God? If it's easy then surely every Christian would have done it and we would all be saints!

The picture of an orange and a juicer comes to mind. The juice of the orange is all of me, my heart or life if you will. The first squeeze to get a load of the orange juice out is relatively easy. And with each squeeze a little bit more juice comes out but it gets harder and harder each time. The pressure required needs to increase and the pain to ensure the orange juice comes out is more intense.

I know this metaphor isn't perfect, none are, and we rightly ask for more of God but do we realise we could be just as easily be asking for more pressure and pain. A pain which is good for us - "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" Romans 5:3, as the gym instructor would say to us "if it isn't hurting it isn't working".

Whatever pain you are walking through, chosen or not, may you see the hope that awaits at the end of it.


  1. As a new Christian I can empathise with what you are saying about the juicer. Three years in and I'm only just begining to have an inkling of an idea as to what I have signed up to. I wrote recently about the amount of pressure and heat that creates a diamond and how brightly we can ultimately shine for God. I like your metaphor better at the moment, if for no other reason than it feels as if God is squeezing my head at the moment!

  2. Thanks for the comment Christian. Yes we are all diamonds in the making (or maybe already made and just need discovering?). There is so much to consider and meditate on in terms of the image of God within and the releasing of that image in and through us, which preachers/theologians call sanctification and normal people usually call suffering.
    I hope the squeeze is released at least for a bit.