Surrender, this Christmas

Roshni Mathew   |   December 21, 2016 


What do you want for Christmas? This year, all I want for Christmas is my mom’s home cooked food. But that’s just a surface level desire. I want to have a child, and some of you who know me or have read my posts before may know about this.

Each of us have our own heart’s desires – it could be a child, or finding a life partner, or finding a job, or buying a home, losing some weight, or something else that dominates our prayers.

I was recently reading about Hannah in the Bible. Hannah was barren and she cried out to God for a child, and He remembered her and blessed her with a baby boy, whom she named Samuel – meaning heard by God or I asked the Lord for Him.

Imagine being given exactly what you’ve been yearning for this Christmas – and then giving it up to God. Wouldn’t you find that crazy? Yet Hannah did just that. She gave up the first child of her womb to God and dedicated him to God’s work. In those days, that meant leaving Samuel in the care of a priest named Eli, under whom Samuel grew. It also meant Hannah got to see her beloved son only when they went to Shiloh to make an annual sacrifice. Imagine giving your child away for God’s work and seeing him only once in a year.

What would make anyone in their right mind do this? As someone who yearns for a child, I was confused about why Hannah would do that.

And then I read Hannah’s prayer, which is recorded in 1 Samuel 2. Her prayer is rich in why she was able to surrender –

Her heart was not fixed on her child being her foundation, but on God. Her being a mother did not define her existence; rather, it was her identity in God that defeated her enemies and allowed her to boast in God. She knew of a deliverance that was sweeter than being given something she desired for so long.

The centre of her adoration and praise was not her child but God – and her foundation was on this rock. She could’ve showed off about not being barren, or even taken pride in it, but instead her song points to an all-knowing God.

She recognised the grand reversal in God and recognised the Saviour through whom this would take place. An anointed King through whom death itself would stand defeated, and who would go to the grave, and then be risen anew to life. Everything in the second part of her song screams Jesus, even though Hannah was singing this song years before His birth. In faith, she sang of the work of a Saviour. With security and faith in a God such as this, Hannah was able to wilfully and voluntarily surrender her child to God.

What about me? Christmas and New Year are the time when I expect gifts and make resolutions. What if this year wasn’t about gifts and resolutions, but centred on a Saviour who actually surrendered a heavenly abode (literally speaking) and gave up seeing His own Father so that one day we could?

What if this year we gift ourselves the joy of surrendering?

Surrender our sorrows before this man; he won’t judge. Surrender our pride before Him; He will only love and accept. Surrender that relationship that is unfixable; He will be the anchor and guide.

I want to surrender the things I’m holding on to the most – my pride, my ego, my anxiety and my fears. My pride, the things in which I boast -- I want to surrender before my Saviour. My ego, the spirit that hinders me from loving those different from me, or stops me from forgiving people who’ve hurt me -- I want to surrender this before my Redeemer. My anxiety, a misplaced trust in my own strength and the unwillingness to see that in my failures, Christ’s strength is far superior and will carry me to His purpose for me -- I want to surrender this before my Rock. My fears, a lack of trusting the outcomes of risks I’m encouraged to take -- I want to surrender before my Jesus.

Hannah gave up the one thing she cried out to God for – a child, something that would define her security and defeat her barrenness. She joyfully gave this child up to God, and God blessed Hannah with five more children. I find that Hannah, without knowing that she would have five more children, gave up the one she pleaded with God for. I want to be able to securely surrender my being before this God who is more faithful than ten daughters and sons.

If I surrender myself, won’t he clothe me instead with His righteousness?

I want that for Christmas. I want that to be my resolution. To surrender all to my Saviour Jesus.

As we decide what gifts to give our loved ones and what resolutions to make, what can we joyfully surrender, placing our faith in a man who replaced death with eternal life?

Don’t you think that He can replace whatever we surrender in faith, with a joy a thousand times more than whatever it is we want right now?


Photo Credit: Unsplash


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Roshni Mathew

Roshni is a full time wife and mother who lives in Mumbai with her husband and daughter. They are a part of New City Church, Mumbai where they worship and serve. Roshni loves cooking, the colour purple and travelling.

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4 comments on “Surrender, this Christmas”

  1. Yes, so true Roshni. We should surrender all our insecurities, ego, unforgiving attitude, pride, weakness to Jesus. Only possible when we keep him in the center of our life.
    Thanks for the reminder and the encouraging message

  2. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Rosh. I appreciate you transparency-- truly we all have areas we need to surrender, that we're holding onto in our own strength, I certainly do! Merry Christmas my friend! May it bring you a time of rest and reflection and true joy.

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