“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.”
I’ve considered that I surrendered my life to Jesus years ago at the age of 18. I’ve sung the hymn “I Surrender All” and variations of that sentiment many times in my life. I’ve prayed surrender to the Lord many times and offered myself and all that I have for His purposes and glory. But, in this season I’m struggling to surrender. Surrender what, you might ask? Becky is gone and you have no choice here. Ah, but there is a surrender required. I can hold on to my grief tenaciously asking my questions about ‘fairness’ and ‘intentionality’ and ‘reasonable purpose’ and ‘why’ into eternity. Or I can come to the place where I say “I don’t understand, but I trust You – use this for Your purposes and glory.”
My granddaughters and I were looking at Hebrews 12 and the great cloud of witnesses prior to Becky’s memorial. We were taking comfort in the fact that Becky is part of that cloud of witnesses now and cheering us on in our faith journey. We took a look back at Hebrews 11 to see who she was cheering with and ran into the story of Abraham being so faithful that he obeyed God and moved to sacrifice his only son. This takes my breath away. I don’t think I could do it. I would think the voiced command my own deluded brain or some demon asking me to do this. God wouldn’t ask this, would He? How did God give Abraham such clarity; how did He make sure Abraham knew His voice? How did Abraham do it?
And then I take the leap from Abraham sacrificing Isaac to God sacrificing His only Son, Jesus. When God asked Abraham to lay Isaac on the altar, God knew that He was going to provide the lamb for the sacrifice and Isaac would be saved. When Christ went to the cross there was no alternate plan in place – God turned His back on His only Son as Jesus became sin for us and paid the price of death for our sin. God is so ‘other’ from me, I’m so inadequate to grasp the mind of God. But the mind of Abraham I can get – Abraham is my bridge into a portion of what God must have felt and thought as His Son died on the cross. What agony endured for the joy of my salvation!
I feel the call of God to Abraham in my life now. Becky is gone, but I still need to lay her life on the altar of sacrifice. I need to be willing to give up my ‘rights’ to love my daughter through a long life – a life where I would die first – and let God use this sacrifice to further His kingdom purposes in me and those with whom I interact. This is a hard obedience. — “Lord, on one level I’m so willing, in fact eager to give up these questions and trust You. From day to day my ability to do this wavers and wanders. Lord I give her up, help me when I take her back.”
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph 5:1-2
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2-3