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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : The Life of Surrender by Lilias Trotter

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 The Life of Surrender by Lilias Trotter

“In Mary of Bethany, with her broken box of ointment, we see shadowed forth the life of surrender. . .The lesson of giving, like all other lessons, is best learnt in His presence. It is as we look into His face that we grow dissatisfied with offering as we thought to offer, and rejoice in a breaking of will and spirit that sets free all restraint in the surrender.

It may be in some outward act of obedience costing dear, that the breaking will begin; but it will be best perfected, at any rate, by accepting, instantly and wholly, the hourly disappointments, losses, jars, and burdens of common experience, till a practical readiness to be offered is developed.

Let our one aim in the matter be to find what still remains kept back; let our ideal of life be no longer a fair unbroken whole but a handful of shattered, empty fragments from which all that could be given has been lavished upon Christ. Is He not worthy?

Have we learnt so to give? Have we learnt to give at all? It can hardly be called “giving” when God must plead and wait, and at last must loosen forcibly our clining grasp from the treasure. Have we even learnt the preliminary lesson of an instand blindfold “Yes, Lord,” when the Spirit points out a fresh act of sacrifice?

It is only as we go on in a life of surrender that the blessed joy of pouring forth upon Him our costly things dawns on us. The giving sets free, as has been well said, a spring of conscious love, and the love, in its turn, inspires to fresh giving; and though the pain involved is still pain, such a strange sweetness becomes interwoven with it that we wonder whether heaven can be perfect without the possibility of suffering loss for Him.

“To what purpose is this waste?” Oh, that the lives of His people called forth more often that accusation! There is small fear of it while giving is weighed and measured carefully, seldom reaching (even in such elementary matters as time and money) to more than a yielding of that which will never be missed.

When shall we let the world see, not merely in outward symbol, Sunday by Sunday, but in literal daily practice, that it is a broken, poured-out life, wherein “by faith, with thanksgiving,” we are partakers? We have seen something of the possibilities that lie before us; something of the transfiguration that may come into our days if the glory of the Lord has risen upon us, kindling at last these slow, dull hearts.

To some of us they are no more possibilities, thank God, but in some measure realities; though we need continually the breath of the Spirit and the fuel of fresh surrender, that the command may be fulfilled–“The fire shall be ever burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”

To others the glimpse of a life that has found its centre in Christ comes as the Father’s answer to a hunger and thirst that have been deepening for long; their souls have been following hard after Him already, and they have only to open them to the Comforter who reveals Him.“

— Lilias Trotter


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