"I am the Lord's servant." Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." These were the words of Mary after the angel told her that she would become the earthly mother of the Savior, Jesus. These were words of surrender on her part. It was a great honor for her to be chosen for this job. Yet it would involve sacrifice. Would her family and friends think she had committed an act of adultery? Would Joseph think that? Would she be ostracized by the people of her town and culture? Mary's surrender would also involve great sorrow, as she saw Jesus hang on the cross.
Mary was willingly surrendering from a heart full of love for her God. She was not serving God just so she would be blessed, or because she was hoping the Lord would meet and fulfill her secret desires and agenda. She was also not seeking to serve the Lord out of sense of obligation. She was serving the Lord out of a heart filled with gratitude, praise, and love for Him. Her heart was a heart that was truly surrendered to the Lord's will, purpose, and agenda. Wherever the Lord placed her in her life or wanted her to do, she wanted to be there wholeheartedly serving Him.
Obstacles to full surrender to the Lord in our lives include doubt concerning His sovereignty and love for us, a desire to control circumstances ourselves instead of leaving them in God's hands, not focusing on the Lord, and a lack of thankfulness. Other obstacles include fear, lack of true intimacy with the Lord, and no experience of the Lord's joy in one's life.
Like Mary, however we can experience the love of God and willingness to surrender to Him in our lives. Mary Tutterrow says the following in her book, The heart of the Caregiver from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, "We will EXPERIENCE the love of God when we are willing to do whatever He asks us to do, however, He want us to do it trusting Him completely for the outcome. That is surrender! It's only when we are doing things His way, for His reasons, according to His timing-not according to our own plans or will-that we can do things we never thought we could do, love people we never thought we could love, overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable, and experience His love and power working in and through us."
This is the surrendered life that Mary and a host of other Biblical people lived. All failed and faltered at times, but they also experienced the joy of a surrendered life throughout their lives. We can experience that joy as well.