THE SUBLIME DISTURBANCE
As the wind makes a different song
through the same tree as its branches
break, God makes finer and finer music
through the wearing down of our will.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “…Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as in heaven.”
One summer when I was a teen-ager I remember one evening sitting around a campfire singing an old Christian hymn. “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.”
There was a 25-year old youth pastor leading us that night. I was 14 and remember thinking he was very wise and mature and I wanted to be like him. At one point, though, he suddenly stopped the singing and said with great passion, “Do you know what you are saying? You are saying the word surrender. Do you have any idea what it means to surrender? Do you believe it? Really believe it? Because if you don’t believe it, please don’t sing it.”
I was taken back. At that moment, I didn’t know if I meant it or not. I liked this young youth pastor, but I in the moment I felt confused.
So I just sat there and watched the fire. I had no doubt this young fellow was speaking from his heart.
Now, many decades later, I still have to intentionally come before my Creator each day, asking myself, “Am I willing this day to surrender again to the will of the Master? Am I willing to freely subject my will, my desires to his loving embrace and guidance?”
For a long stretch early this morning, I pondered again what it means for me to say …
“Yes, Jesus, I am choosing to follow you today — Master, Savior and Lord of the World. … And Father, Creator and sustainer of the universe, I am trusting and believing by faith that you will make all things new if I surrender to your will. … And Holy Spirit, I am asking, pleading for you to fill me with yourself, causing the fruit of Your Spirit to ripen in my life. … Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons in one God, have mercy on me a sinner.”