Moving from brokenness to surrender – that’s where we’re headed today. That is what the Christian life is all about – moving forward, daily stepping closer to Jesus and being made more like Him. As I think about what it means to truly surrender our lives to God, I’m reminded of the precious words of an old hymn, one that speaks beautifully of surrender…
All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at His feet I bow.
Worldly pleasures all forsaken, take me Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender, make me Savior wholly Thine.
Let me feel the Holy Spirit, truly know that Thou art mine.
All to Jesus I surrender, Lord I give myself to Thee.
Fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me.
All to Jesus I surrender, now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation, glory, glory to His name!
Can’t you just hear the beautiful tune? What an amazing scene of surrender: humbly bowing at the feet of Jesus and forsaking all worldly pleasures, everything of our own desires and wants that exalts itself above Christ. The words of this melody speak surrender far better than I ever could. I find myself singing this song often, desiring that the words would truly be my heart’s desire. Living out the words of this song, however, is quite a different story, isn’t it?
True surrender is difficult, desperate, and exhausting. It’s a battle of our own will against what we know to be right. When we find ourselves in the vulnerable state of brokenness, surrender may seem impossible. It might seem inconceivable that God would require us to offer Him our broken pieces and to trust Him with the outcome. Yet, if we could but fall back on God’s faithfulness to us in our past, our faith could be so ignited to be able to trust Him with our present and with our future. Have you ever rehearsed the faithfulness of God in your life? Think about it. Look back over the span of your life, and allow yourself to see how God has provided, how He has pulled you through, how He has repeatedly drawn you back to Himself, how He has answered prayer. Try it. You’ll be amazed at how greatly your capacity to trust the Lord will be increased if you would but choose to rehearse His faithfulness in your own life!
Follow me to a beloved portion of Scripture, 1 Peter 5:6-7:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
It never ceases to amaze me how practical and fitting God’s Word is to every situation I find myself in. His Word speaks life and truth, conviction and authority, love and grace to our every need. Taking this passage in context, we see that Peter is addressing the elders and the young men. I find it quite applicable to any and all of us, though. The command to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand seems to imply that if we won’t humble ourselves, He will do it for us. It reminds me of prideful King Nebuchadnezzar, who in his pride failed to give glory to God and rather exalted himself. Daniel 4:37 seems to say it all when he writes, “…and those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” Doesn’t it seem like a far better plan to humble yourself? I’d rather avoid the pain of God humbling me and choose the path of obedient surrender, wouldn’t you? Yet, we find ourselves wrestling with God, trying to bear the load of our heavy burdens on our own when He is pleading with us to cast our loads onto Him. We were never meant to carry them; He was. “…casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” One of the most freeing truths I’ve heard in regards to surrendering your brokenness to the Lord is that unlike the people in our lives, God can handle the weight of your brokenness. It won’t weigh Him down; it won’t burden Him. It will only set you free to a life of complete surrender to Him.
Think about it this way. We use our hands to hold onto things, to cling to things. We hold a very firm grip on what we are not willing to let go of. Over time, our hands become more and more filled with things, creating much difficulty to sustain such a tight grip. If we won’t open up our hands and give those things over to the only one that is trustworthy and faithful, Jesus Christ, our hands will never be freed to grasp onto Him. We can’t continue to cling to our brokenness and still cling to our Healer at the same time. Choose to let go. Surrender the hurt, the disappointment, the failures of the past, the brokenness to His healing hands, and just as His Word promises, He will lift you up in due time. Open your tightly clenched fist to Him, and allow Him to replace the sorrow held there with healing and joy as you sing out to Him, “All to Jesus I surrender!”