Written by Josiah Piett

This past year I have found myself sleeping in a hospital bed or on the couch sick, more times than in five years previous. Now to be fair, I have chronic health issues, so being sick is something I am more susceptible to (my health issues are too complicated to explain over a couple sentences). Needless to say, this year has been one of great challenge.

Trying to find a balance between health, marriage, ministry, and normality has been like walking a tightrope with an fifty-pound weight chain attached to your ankle. Except, if you were to meet me you would never know visibly that I carry this weight due to it all being an internal urinary system issue. As result of this invisible chain my feelings of isolation are heavy, despite being surrounded by others. 

I have tried to make this chain visible to others. Some apologize, others are quiet and others take an opportunity to share of their own weight. Regardless of what I hear, I still seem to be carrying this chain alone. I’ve chosen to cover up once again.  

I’ve heard of a man whose yoke is easy and burden is light. And so, in desperation I brought my chain before Him. Graciously, He has allowed me to walk with Him with this chain. Yet not long into our walk I heard Him whisper, “Give me your chain, son.”

Pretending not to hear Him, I kept walking in disbelief. He couldn’t ask for this, I know He cares and all, but He couldn’t care this much, could he? 

He whispered again, “Give me your chain, son.” I began to lift the cover off this invisible chain He sees so clearly. As I placed this chain in His pierced hands, I found myself reluctant to let go. I thought to myself, I’ve lived my life only ever carrying this chain. I once carried this chain in shame but now I have carried it as a badge of devotion to the man who carries it with me.

Yet still I heard him whisper, “Give me your chain, son.” 

Learning to surrender everything to Jesus has been one of the greatest challenges in my life. It has also been by far the most rewarding. At one point, walking with Jesus was simply acknowledging that He actually saw me and wanted to walk with me. As I have grown with Him, I had to learn that He loved me too much to allow me to walk the same way I was before saying yes to him.

As result of this realization, transformation came. Instead of being a “sick kid” I was now a “saved sick kid.” For many years I wore my sickness as badge of honour, not realizing that my identity was actually rooted in something so much deeper.

Throughout this process, Jesus has asked me to give this part of me to Him. For He didn’t pay for me to be a saved sick kid, He paid for me to become His son. That is a truth rooted in eternity and one that cannot be shaken.

 Understanding that our identity is not defined by our circumstances, our past, or our personality is crucial. There is only one thing that defines who we are – and that is God the Father of all things through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Only one thing. Jesus’s actions—nothing else. 

It’s His actions that invite us to walk with Him; it is our response of surrendering that allows us to live freely with Him. Surrendering everything to Jesus is much more than a moment. It’s a compilation of moments that turn into a lifestyle. We were designed to live in freedom, not bondage.

Although my chain may physically still be part of me, surrendering it has allowed me to live within a new framework. I live in light of what will be, not what is. I am His son first.

If this topic of surrendering and freedom is one that resonates with you, I have written a book called Beautiful Surrender: He Has My Yes, which is available on Amazon. Beautiful Surrender invites readers into a journey from understanding the importance of surrender to what a lifestyle surrendered to Jesus could look like.

Through personal and scriptural stories the book encourages, challenges, and provides practical steps for you to take in your walk with Jesus. If you are feeling dissatisfied or desire to grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus, then this book is for you. I hope something in this article has encouraged you to live in the freedom that Jesus paid for you to live in.