"...For whatever it takes fo my will to break...I'll trade comfort for pain...to draw closer to you, Lord...that's what I am willing to do..." (artist unknown)
It was 30 yeast ago this last November, that I first heard the song above. (I just pulled a few lines that mean the most to me.) It was on a Sunday morning and I was sitting alone in the church we attended in San Diego. My husband of four months was on duty and couldn't be with me. It was the first time that I had been so far away from my home and my family and to be alone in such a huge city was a bit scary. It was also the first trimester of an unplanned and suprised pregnancy. I was feeling a bit lonely and sorry for myself, but I was determined to be in church. And so it was that I heard the song.
The music director's wife sang this song as a solo and the words reached deep into my mind. I couldn't believe that anyone could honestly sing this song and these words without meaning it completely. The conviction I saw on the soloist's face told me that she meant every word of surrender that she sang. I never thought that I could ever do that. I had always been in control of my life. I had only surrendered my will when forced to do so or when I thought there would be an advantage to doing so.
As the years passed, the song never left my heart. Pain and trials filled my life and I allowed it to turn into anger, hatred, and bitterness. My world became a small, hard, and dark shell of resistance and depression. I did not want to let anyone or anything into my little world because I trusted only myself. I figured that I was safe, but I was so wrong.
Finally, in desperation, I cried out to the LORD for freedom. It took months of prayer and confession of sin. The Holy Spirit began to shine His light around my darkened soul. He firmly, but lovingly showed me sin after sin after sin. As I confessed and repented of each one, the layers of my shell crumbled. God Almighty was cleansing me and creating something beyond my human ability. At last I became able to sing that song with all my heart. I was able to fully surrender and trust in the Lord.
However, over the couple of years, I have gone through more trials and have given into discouragement and frustration. Each time I went through a trial it got easier and easier to fall into sin once again. These last few months have been some of the worst. My fibromyalgia had gotten so bad that I had to resign the job that I loved so much. The pain and frustration had taken hold on my body and soul.
Then, last week, after 30 years, I heard the song sung once again. This time it was sung in my home church by the preacher and two of his daughters. And once again, the song reached into my heart. Afterwards, it was like the Holy Spirit said to me, "Well, are you willing to surrender once again? You already have traded comfort for pain whether you wanted to or not. But are you willing to surrender your will?" With fresh tears, I realized my sinfulness and repented then and there.
With all my heart I can again say to the Lord, "Whatever it takes...that's what I am willing to do...to be more like you, Lord." I do surrender all to Jesus.