Trustful Surrender


“Jump!” the father said to his son, as he looked up at his little one standing by a second floor window to their building that had caught on fire.  “Jump!” he said again, with greater urgency, as the smoke threatened to asphyxiate his only son, and the flames grew stronger.  “I’m afraid to jump. I can’t see you Dad,” replied the little boy to his father.  “But I can see you…Don’t be afraid! Just jump!  I promise I’ll catch you.”

He knows us and loves us and yet how many times do we hesitate, do we doubt His love for us?  We may not doubt His love, but perhaps we question His ability to carry out the promises He has made because we can’t see what will happen.  The prophet Jeremiah responds to our doubt, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

One of the most beautiful examples of faith, trust and surrender is the story of Abraham.  Think of the dramatic scene when the Lord asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Let’s go back a few chapters in Gen. 12 when the Lord says to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. ‘I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.” Abram is an old man, but He trusts that the Lord will be faithful to His promises.  After a time, Abram still does not have a son and so he begins to question God on how he will fulfill his promises.  The Lord “brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.  So shall your descendants be.’  And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:5-6)   Then a few verses later it says, “As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep.” (Genesis 15: 12)  What just happened?  The Lord took Abram outside to count the stars while it was still daylight.

The Lord invites us to faith in Him over and over again.  When we believe in him and have faith in Him, He invites us to even greater faith.  With Abram, the Lord invited him to count the stars in broad daylight, and the most amazing thing was that it says, “And he believed the Lord.”  He did not believe the Lord because he understood the plan, but because he trusted in the Lord.  He believed that the Lord loved him and had a plan for him, even though he didn’t know how it was going to be fulfilled.
 
It all begins with a relationship with God as Father.  This loving Father sees us and always catches us when we take that leap of faith into His arms.  God has a plan for us and we trust and believe in His love.  
 
A few chapters later in Genesis, God gives him a new name- Abraham, and miraculously Sarah conceives and bears him a son, Isaac.  You would think that this would be the end of the story, but no, even beyond that, the Lord asked Abraham to trust even more, to sacrifice that which he thought was the greatest answer to the promise of the Lord: his son.  Once the Lord saw that Abraham was willing to surrender even his son, that’s when He fulfilled the promise of a great nation. 
 
Throughout our lives, the Lord will bring us out in broad daylight and say, “number the stars if you can…” As we make acts of faith and trust in the Lord, His guidance is more and more clear.  Our ability to take that leap of faith, that act of trust in God gets easier because we come to know Him whose arms are outstretched, crucified and risen, with His wounds glorified.  We believe in His goodness and trust in His love for us and His eternal desire for us to be filled with joy.  “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)  It is not so much that we have greater insights into the mind of God, but that we fall deeper in love with God himself that we are able to trust in His plan for us and in the way He chooses to carry out that plan.
 
In all of our lives, there will be moments of trial or difficulty, when our faith is tested.  If we respond with faith and trust, we give God permission to set us free from fear and to transform us into who He created us to be, an extension of the humanity of Jesus for the world, desperately in need of love. 
 
A word from our Founder:
“If I were asked in a single sentence, then, why we have the Sisters of Life, this would be the answer that I would give: we have the Sisters of Life dominantly to love. They will engage in many apostolic activities, but primarily, they will love, they will love, they will love. They will love with their own lives, with their own hearts, with their own prayers, with their own thoughts. They will never look at anyone except through the eyes of love. ‘By this shall everyone know that you are My followers: that you love one another.’ That’s at the heart of this vocation. It is love that prompts, that impels, that drives the Sisters of Life. The love of Christ, the love of the unborn baby, the love of the outcast, the love of every human being made in the image and likeness of God. We must fall in love with life, but life is Christ and Christ is love.” ~John Cardinal O’Connor