I attend a church with a more traditional worship style. We have Youth Sunday once a month where the youth of our church lead a more contemporary worship. I love Youth Sunday, but I have grown to appreciate the traditional worship as well. One of the things that I love about our traditional worship are the hymns we sing. Hymns that are filled with age-old truth. As I ponder and reflect and seek to understand what it means to surrender my life to God, the hymn I Surrender All fills my early morning thoughts.
I remember my pastor reminding us all during a sermon one time…I Surrender All…the words of the hymn…all, not I surrender some, not I surrender what I want, but I surrender all.
All…the whole of one’s possessions, energy, interest….the whole, not part, the whole.
I think of the story in Mark 20:17-22….the young man who asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life…he had kept all the commandments…but when Jesus asked him to sell all he possessed and follow him, he could not. He could not surrender all he possessed. He could not let go.
Surrender…what do I hold onto? I am not rich so holding onto possessions is not my issue, but that is not what that passage is about. What about my job? My family? My friendships? My health? My finances? My fears? My hopes? My dreams? What do I hold onto? What do I cling to?
Since, I began what I am calling my “Surrender Journey” which I began specifically related to my job, God has been speaking to me, reminding me that I do not get to pick and choose what I surrender. I can not compartmentalize my life or my faith or my relationship with Him. I am learning daily to surrender my situation at work. My fears. My family. My friends. My health. My finances. My hopes and dreams. My plans. My everything.
I am learning to surrender all.
In the words of the hymn…All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give…
And this is where I am learning…not just all, but freely…what do I cling to?
I realized last night and in the early hours of this morning as I write now while my house is still and quiet and the world outside me dark and sleeping…there is more I must surrender. As I pray the desires of my heart, as I ask God for the things I desire…I must also surrender these same desires…freely…and trust Him.
Can I do this? Can I surrender all? And can I do it freely without holding back, without clinging to it?
I want to believe I can…like the tiny green sign of life peeking through the rocks below…my faith, my trust, growing slowly as I surrender my life…to Him.