It takes time for a priceless pearl to form or for a Christian to discover the inner beauty that comes from the trials of life. A pearl's perfection comes from the constant irritation of sand within an oyster. Life is filled with constant irritation. Those irritations can spur me on to spiritual growth or they can destroy what God wishes to produce. Whether good or bad, my life is a result of my attitude. “Rejoice always,” Paul encourages, “pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV). It is God's will that I have a good attitude in all circumstances. I will rejoice no matter what. I will pray continually no matter what. Trusting God with a “no–matter–what–happens attitude” can lift me above whatever I face. I surrender to the lesson—not to the circumstance.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,” Paul instructs, “to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2, NIV). Do I want to be a living sacrifice? Do I long to have a sacrificial attitude or do I fight against the lessons of life? Strength, joy, peace, and a “no–matter–what–happens attitude” come from surrender to God's perfect and pleasing will for my life.
Surrender is not an option, and it certainly does no good to rage against my circumstance. When God’s incredible mercy is my reason for living, then giving myself is something that comes through the renewing of my mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. I yield to His lesson for my life. I sacrifice that “fight” against powers that are beyond my control. By gracefully accepting the pruning of the Master Gardener's hand upon my life, I accept the lesson found in His discipleship. Learning God's lesson becomes my passion.
I can never humanly count the cost of surrender. Too much mental analysis of the cost, and I may retreat from the depth of inward commitment that surrender needs. Too little consideration of the cost, and my commitment of surrender may not last. I just let go of who I think I am. I let go of my desires, of my agenda, of my control in every circumstance and every situation, and allow God to lead me. I allow God be in charge of my life. I have spiritually accepted that letting go is worth everything for what I receive in return. It is in the moment of surrender of all that I struggle to control in my life that I discover the grace of His peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
God gives me the freedom to choose either my own way or His. I now seek that priceless pearl. I will sell all of myself to Him in order to possess it. When I surrender all the shallowness of who I have been for the fulfillment of who He is, I discover that in giving His life for me I have become His pearl of greatest price. Such love is beyond my mind's ability to understand. But I don't need to understand. I just let it go, and accept the miracle of His priceless worth.