|"All to Jesus I surrender...."|
As hard as I try, I am often such a failure at living what I teach! On this past Sunday, my sister and I were asked to fill-in for our Sunday School teachers who were planning a trip out of town. We both accepted the request joyfully and I looked forward to teaching with her.
When I began to study the lesson, I admit to thinking it would be an easy lesson to teach. It was all about how all we have, in any capacity, belongs to God from the beginning. Whatever we give to Him is only being returned to it's original owner. Whether it be our time, our energy, our talent, our resources, our steadfastness of faith....it all belonged to Him from the beginning. It was gifted to us by Him.
I have believed that for so many years and have tried diligently practice it. I admit to having faltered at times, but as a general rule, I have no trouble giving to the Lord. Just let me say that that should have been my first warning. When we think we are so secure and so dedicated to the Lord, we are sure to be put into a position to see just how true, or untrue, our perception is.
I sat down to pay some bills online on Sunday evening. I gathered my bills, opened up my banking account on my laptop program and was ready to go. Oh, but I had forgotten to retrieve my flash drive...the one that stored my account numbers, passwords, etc. I went to the place I usually keep these only to find it was not there. I looked everywhere I thought I might have put it, only to be disappointed at each stop. I couldn't find it anywhere.
I began to panic. You see, not only is my account information stored on that drive, so are picture files of several different occasions. The most important was a file that contained the last pictures I ever took of Terry before he went home to be with Jesus. My account information will be a pain to retrieve, but it can be done. Other information contained on the drive, such as recipes and health care records, can also be retrieved. Some of the photos have been copied to other files in other locations, but for the most part, those pictures only existed on that drive in that file.
I was heart broken . I turned things upside down here several different times and still did not find the drive. I called my sister and asked her to be praying about it. She assured me she would do so and reminded me that the Lord gives us the desires of our heart. Every time I thought of it, I would become physically ill because of the pictures I lost.
I continued to search all day Monday and Tuesday with no new discoveries. Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, I posted to my online Sisters and asked them to pray as well. They responded with assurances of prayer and reminded me, just as my sister had, that God gives us the desires of our heart. I continued to search.
As I was searching, the Lord began to speak to my heart, gently reminding me of the Sunday School lesson. I must confess I didn't want to be reminded of it, particularly at that moment in time. I wouldn't say I was angry, just heart broken.
As I stilled myself and got quiet with the Lord, I listened as He spoke words of comfort to my heart and wept as he passed images of Terry before my mind. He reminded me that all was not lost, that He owned all that was contained on that drive. He would deliver the memories of Terry that I needed to comfort me as I needed them. I can depend on Him and I will NEVER lose Him!
I would be lying if I said it didn't still bother me, but it's not the burden on my heart that it was. I relearned an old lesson, the secret is in surrender. I cannot have peace unless I surrender everything I am and have to the Lord. Nothing in my life is mine, it is on loan to me by the Creator God who loves me without beginning or end. His love has no boundaries and is not hindered by my own doubts. I am hindered when I doubt, but His love for me is not.
So, as I sit here typing, know that the Lord who gave His life's blood for me cares about everything that I care about. When I hurt, He hurts. The things that cause me pain and the pain I feel can be relieved and I can be comforted when I surrender all to Him. What an amazing and awesome God we serve!
In the words of the hymn "I Surrender All" penned by Judson W. Van DeVenter in 1896: