Surrender in a Cup of Coffee

12 Jul

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it’s easier to give up the big things than have a willingness for surrendering the small things. Coffee, for instance. So insignificant. So unquestioned. So nonexistent on the radar of surrender. Or so I thought. We were going to stock up on some within our first week until “maybe we should go without coffee this summer” came from the ever-convicting mouth of little sister. “It’s too expensive,” she added, clearly expecting me to agree. Instead of meekly nodding my head and being delighted to bid it farewell, I had trouble even letting the thought cross my mind. Give it up? All summer? But why? Just because it would be more spiritual? Aren’t we allowed a few luxuries? We don’t even have a bedframe or a sink, for goodness sake, but we are entitled to a cup of coffee in the morning, aren’t we? It’s basically our right as American missionaries, isn’t it? (this was before I realized I’m actually not a great missionary.) And the climax: I bet even Amy Carmichael drank coffee.

It’s rather embarrassing to have it out in black and white instead of mere thoughts running through the privacy of my head. It’s rather embarrassing that these are even thoughts in my head. Ok, Ervina. So you’ll give up a good paying job, leave home and everything familiar and move across the world, but you can’t even forfeit the privilege of freshly brewed coffee for three months? If it’s that difficult a thing to give up, it probably means you should. “The greatness of a man’s power,” William Booth said, “is the measure of his surrender.” Can I pour out my life for the lost and stoop to wash the feet of the broken and rally passionately for the oppressed if I am still holding onto selfishness? If there is the smallest unsurrender somewhere inside my heart, is the large-scale sacrifice worth anything? Is the power of the gospel of Christ able to be worked in and through me when I hold back something He’s asked for? Doesn’t being fully His mean being nothing of my own?

I don’t want anything to stand in the way of God having His full possession of my life. Comfort or coffee, moving across the world for ministry or staying in the place I was born, I want a whole-hearted agreement with His will and the same willingness to say yes to His smallest requests as when He asks for the obvious. The truth is I am not essential to the kingdom of God. I’m not needed to accomplish His work. I’m not as useful as I would love to think. In short, I am nothing. But in His My-ways-are-higher-than-your-ways wisdom, He’s brought me here to further disciple and train and humble my soul and I want as much of it as He will bring on.

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7 Responses to “Surrender in a Cup of Coffee”

  1. Lauren July 12, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    It’s amazing how the “little comforts” can seem so big to give up… bless you for your heart of sacrifice, girls!

  2. Sandra Ramos July 12, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Umm, this is the first time I stop by your blog…. doubt it will be the last! Thank you for the challenge in not allowing anything to come in the way of surrendering our all for Christ. Your testimony has challenged me a lot already in the little I do know you. God bless you both!!

  3. Chelsea M July 12, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Amen! Praise God for your desire to have His will be done — even in the smallest areas. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing even the not-so-pretty parts of your precious life, Ervina — the places He is still working on. I love you for it!

  4. Verda July 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    I’m pretty sure I was supposed read this!

  5. live4real July 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Thanks so much for that. It blessed me and my poor hubby who is sick for the 3rd day in a row (yea… and probably the first time in his life for that long). :/ Praying for you as you surrender all to Jesus. 🙂

  6. Abby July 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Wow. That’s a challenge. Thanks for your honesty, dear Erv.
    Btw- I love the new pictures. 😉

  7. Esther G July 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Ervina & Claudia…i’m doing catch-up on these posts. i’m challenged by your passion & simply want to bless you in this piece of the world you are in. That God will give you your heart desires in ministering to these precious souls& to KNOW that not one single action will go unnoticed by Him. be blessed! Esther G

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