Saturday, June 8, 2013

I surrender all

IMG_3278NOTE: Read this blog at its home location
Here in the Tampa area we’re well into our “summer pattern” of Florida weather. That means heat, humidity, afternoon storms and the occasional tropical system blowing through.
One positive about all this (mostly) is the unremitting growth. Grass, flowers, trees, mold, weeds, everything. You name it, and it’s going to grow, grow, grow. Our new sod is beautiful; thick, green, tall. Even the old grass is doing well.
Then there are my favorites, the beautiful flowers you see in the picture. I’m sure they have a scientific classification, but Rebekah and I simply call them “Rain Lilies,” because every time it rains we get a new flush that seem to appear without any prior announcement. They last just a few days, then wither away in the heat. But every time there’s a fresh rain the lilies come back, bright and fresh and full of affirmation.
IMG_3277Our Rain Lilies have proliferated well beyond our carefully conceived plans. Instead of “a few along this pathway,” and “a bunch under this tree,” the lilies have taken up residence in three distinct areas: “hither,” “thither,” and “yon.” They seem to have a more balanced sense of outdoor design than the naive homeowners who first tried sketching it all out on a graph before eventually throwing their hands in the air.
Rebekah has a phrase for this level of landscape architecture. “We’ve given the garden back to God,” she says.
SURRENDER: “Giving it back to God” turns out to be a useful plan for life in general. And I’m talking about surrender rather than resignation. Resignation has to do with giving up, whereas surrender has to do with giving over.
  • Not “Giving up,” but “Giving over.
Personally, I’ve found that’s when I tend to bloom; that’s when I shine like “the lilies of the field;” that’s when the refreshing rain of God’s love, and grace, and mercy transform me – albeit for just a short while – into something alive, vibrant, and beautiful!
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.
All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory to His name!
Judson W. Van De Venter, 1896

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