"I Surrender All"2
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
Jesus gave them this answer, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).
He was standing alone, singing alone, before the congregation—a small man with a large voice. He completed the first verse and began the refrain. The large voice softened. Broke. His tears began. “I surrender all.” The tears increased. “I surrender all.” The words caught in his throat: “All to Thee, my Blessed Savior.” Ardent words struggled out to reach his Blessed Savior. “I surrender all.”
“I surrender all.” Perhaps it is the most difficult thing we can do. And, yet, the most freeing—not just for ourselves, but for everyone our life impacts.
This surrendering—often called “letting go” these days—can be confused with lesser things like giving up, not being responsible, not valuing oneself.
But no, it is not a lesser thing.
It was Jesus saying, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing...” Jesus did not do lesser things. What He is saying here is the greater thing. By surrendering, by doing only what He saw the Father doing, He overcame the forces working against the good and showed us how to do likewise. It is His lesson in walking humbly with our God.
In the John 5 narrative Jesus had carried out the Father's healing of the invalid at the pool of Bethesda. On the Sabbath no less. He could have, perhaps, gotten away with the healing. But doing it on the Sabbath? No way was that going to get past the gatekeepers of the law.
So why did He do it that way, that day? Why not go on Monday? The man had been there for 38 years, after all. What would another day or two matter?
Yet here it is—mattering all these years later. Mattering because we desperately need to know that surrendering our ways and keeping alert to what our Father is doing enables us to know what to do, and when. That in that way God is always working.
Do you think the soloist's tears (a true story) came because he was struggling to surrender or because he was grateful he had surrendered? Were his tears due to the prospect of forfeiting his own ways and means or due to the freedom, spaciousness, and closeness with God he had found, even if that had come with difficult repercussions?
What are you sensing God wants you to surrender in order to walk humbly with Him today?