Originally published Monday, 10 June 2013.
“All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give, I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live …”.
Growing up whenever I heard the song “I Surrender All” start to play at church, I knew the pastor was getting ready to do an altar call. That song seemed to signal it was time for people to lay down their lives and follow Jesus more than any other song I knew of. Whether I was at my grandparents’ church or my parents’, I knew when the organist started playing those familiar notes, people were going to start walking the aisle.
The older I get, the more I realize the lyrics to that song aren’t just about a one-time surrendering. In fact, it’s a daily surrendering.
When life is going well, it’s easy to get up every day and remember that God is in control and He’s got everything taken care of. It’s easy to trust Him when life is going the way we want it to. However, when you’re in a season of discouragement, disappointment, sadness and hardship, surrendering to Him becomes a lot harder.
I know when life isn’t going the way I want it to, I start to think if I just try this or I just try that, then things might work out the way I want them to. I begin to hold tighter to any control I think I might have, clinging tightly to my heart’s desires. But that’s not what God wants from us—He wants us to give everything to Him. He wants us to let go of it all knowing that He alone will take care of our every need and longing.
Each morning, I have to make a conscious decision to give it all to God, to unclench my tight grip on my dreams, my worries, my struggles, and surrender them to Him. For me, that’s not easy. I’m a natural worrier and a thinker; I have a difficult time letting go. In turn, I hold onto things much too long, obsess over little details and what could and might have been, and I spend too much time thinking about things that I shouldn’t.
As I get ready to begin a new week, I pray that the lyrics of this sacred hymn rest in my soul and remind me to release my grip on all my cares and give them all to Him. There is nothing I can or can’t do that will change His will. He will provide, He will sustain and He will bless more than we can ever imagine. We’ve just got to give it all to Him.
“All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at His feet I bow, worldly pleasures all forsaken, take me, Jesus, take me now …”.