It's not a word we like to use. Most of us think of it in terms of a criminal, giving up to the law. Or an army, vanquished in defeat. According to Dictionary.com (where would we be without the internet?) it means "to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield."
I've been thinking about that recently. The hymn "I Surrender All" has been going through my head, and I find myself singing it. Mostly when I am alone, so as not to disturb other people.
"All to Thee my precious Savior, I surrender all."
Surrendering myself to Jesus means accepting whatever comes my way as a gift from him. Whatever comes. It all- the good, the bad, the hard, the easy- is a gift from him.
Phillips Brooks (1835-1890) was an Episcopalian minister, who is most well known for writing the words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem." He once wrote
"O, do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men!
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks!
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle.
Every day you shall wonder at yourself,
at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God."
(I have this in calligraphy in my office.)
Brooks wrote the following prayer which deals with surrender. The language is a little hard for us (he prayed using King James English), but it is worth working your way through.
O Lord, by all Thy dealings with us,
whether of joy or pain, or light or darkness…
let us be brought to Thee.
Let us value no treatment of Thy grace
simply because it makes us happy
or because it makes us sad…
because it gives us or denies us what we want.
but may all that Thou sendest us
bring us to Thee.
That knowing Thy perfectness, we may be sure
in every disappointment that Thou art still loving us
and in every darkness Thou art still enlightening us
and in every enforced idleness Thou art still using us;
yea, in every death that Thou art still giving us life,
as in His death Thou didst give life to Thy Son,
our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Many people I know (and even more I don't know) are going through some tough times. I've found that those who have "surrendered all" have peace. Peace that passes understanding.