All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live
For some reason, I’ve always taken that hymn to mean I should surrender my will to God. Let Him be the Lord of your life, surrender everything to Him so He can give you joy and the abundant life He has for you.
But today, I looked at this century-old song differently. Our will is just one thing we are to surrender to Him. King David wrote, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19
The great king of Israel who killed Goliath and routed armies understood the importance of daily entrusting every concern and burden to His Creator. It sounds so simple, yet living it out is much harder to do.
All to Jesus, I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
Most adults carry around burdens. We think that’s what part of being an adult is all about. Health issues, financial stress and relationship tension are like stones on our back. We get used to the weight, repositioning it to balance out the burden so we can do everything we need to do that day. Sometimes a new weight is added. A loved one is diagnosed with a disease or maybe the IRS notifies us that we’re being audited. Like a circus performer, we take on the additional stone, teeter around and keep moving. Our walk is slower, our balance not quite right. But we’ll get used to it. We’ll figure out a way to make it work. Why? Because we think we don’t have any options. We just accept the weight as part of life when all along, God is standing right there with open arms, wanting to carry that weight for us. It was never meant for our shoulders. It was always meant to be surrendered to Him.
As a caregiver, it is especially imperative that I do just that.
When I come home from work to find my Father has packed up his tools and is ready to “go home.”
I surrender all.
When he looks at his jacket and gets confused about where his arm goes.
I surrender all.
When he bows to pray before dinner and stumbles through words he’s spoken a thousand times.
I surrender all.
When my immune system is shot because long-endured stress does that to caregivers and I pick up every bug that’s going around. When my Father repeats stories but with different details because his memories are murkier than before. When we’re getting ready for bed and he looks into his bedroom and says, “So should I just sleep here tonight?”
Never. Meant. For. My. Shoulders.
All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
You don’t have to be a caregiver to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Maybe you lost your job or your doctor just called with bad news. Maybe your wages are being garnished or you discovered that your spouse has been unfaithful. Maybe you just lost your best friend to cancer or perhaps the business you started and poured your heart, soul and money into is failing.
Never. Meant. For. Your. Shoulders.
When I finally clue in that I’m still trying to balance these heavy burdens alone, I close my eyes and picture myself giving each weight to God, stone by stone. Here Lord, I can’t carry this. I’m leaving it in Your hands. I’m not going to take it back. I’m relinquishing this to You. I don’t know what my Father is going to be like from one day to the next, but he is Your child and You hold the future in Your hands.
No matter how many times I may ask Him to take my burden from me, He won’t do it. I must surrender my burdens to Him. And when I do, He will receive them every single time. It is a beautiful exchange. I give Him my burdens, He gives me His peace. That is what I was meant for ~ to experience His peace. That is what we were all meant for.
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28