In ancient Greece, there was a protocol for asking permission to bury their dead after battle. The loser would come before the victor and bow before him. In his prostrate position, he would put his hand on the thigh of the victor. This was a sign of recognizing who controlled the battlefield and a request for mercy so that the defeated army could perform the last rites for the dead. It was an act of submission.
My favorite “Jacksie” wrote about the relationship between God and Nature in Miracles, “…everything looks as if it were not resisting an alien invader but rebelling against a lawful sovereign.” He further writes, “The fitness of the Christian miracles, and their difference from these mythological miracles, lies in the fact that they show invasion by a power that is not alien. They are what might be expected to happen when she is invaded not simply by a god but by the God of nature: by a Power which is outside her jurisdiction not as a foreigner but as a sovereign. They proclaim that He who has come is not merely a king, but The King, her king and ours.” (Ps 10:16; Ps 24, Jer 10:10)
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be glory and honor forever and ever, Amen!”
A couple days ago, I asked “How can one as unworthy as I ever exalt and lift high the One who is above all?” and I gave you a scripture reference. There is an old tradition in the courts of kings that extended to the time of the gentry (Think of Jane Austen England). In the feudal caste system there was a lot of bowing, even among the un-titled. The rule went like this: When two people of unequal standing met and they greeted each other with a bow, the bow of the lesser in standing had to be deeper than that of the greater. In fact, the difference in depth was directly related to the difference in standing. It was an acknowledgement of superior standing and a sign of submission, especially where a king was involved. The only way, then, to exalt and lift up One who is above all is to give everything that is His to Him in submission and to surrender control.
That required submission and surrender is singularly the hardest part of interacting with God in a healthy manner. We are, by nature, selfish creatures who want to have control at all times, even if it’s only a mirage. The height of frustration is when things happen outside our control but the height of peace in the midst of those events outside our control occurs when we let the peace of God rule in our hearts (remember E is for Eternity). A peace unable to be stolen comes when we put all into the hands of the One who controls everything, who, as we remember, is infinitely good, infinitely wise, infinitely powerful, infinitely faithful and true, and who infinitely loves us so deeply.