All is the Lord’s

Posted on May 22, 2012 by

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Last month my father found out that he had a life threatening aneurism very near his heart. At age 75 he looks at things differently than I do at 45.  The particular kind he had was uniquely serious, so the doctor wanted to get him in right away.  A few days before his surgery he and I got breakfast at my favorite egg place, the Half Day Cafe, across the street from my house.  Something we should do more often.  This man was my first hero, and to this day an encouraging word from him has as much impact on me as any other.  We talked about everything that morning. Life, death, and the afterlife. How to live well, how to face our own mortality, and how to die well.  He summed it up with the following words.

“Michael, you need to understand that everything that I have, and all that I am is the Lord’s.  I am ready for anything.”  

I have read words like that, and even heard people testify to that as part of a talk in front of crowds, but this was different. It wasn’t just theory, or good theology.  It was real and from the heart. I could see it in his eyes.  I could tell he truly has reached the pinnacle of life, contentment in the Lord and rest in His hands.  He was truly living it out there in front of me. He was a living example of what a mature faith looks like.  All that talk in James 1 about life and its trials requiring perseverance which leads to us being mature and complete, lacking nothing (v4)… that morning with my dad I saw a picture of what that looks like.

Over the years I have been challenged by so many passages of scripture and so many songs. Deny yourself…. whoever wants to save his life will lose it, whoever loses his life for me will save it….take my yoke upon you and learn from me…..believe in me….abide in me and you will bear much fruit…..delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart…..I have been crucified with Christ….A new creation….Do not worry or be anxious…. Concern myself with the things of God not human concerns….Fix your eyes on things eternal….Surrender to me and I’ll make you whole….The list goes on.

I must admit, however, that had such a foggy picture of what this should look like in my life and my family’s life…until that morning.  Tasting moments of true surrender in my life have been so sweet and keep me yearning for more.  For some reason, though, I often take back what I’ve tried to surrender, and in so doing, I miss what my dad is living.  I waver between the two worlds.  On one hand I know and trust what God has planned for me is so much better than anything I could imagine, and on the other hand I work feverishly trying to make things happen myself.  I need to learn to trust and rest in the sovereign hand of the Lord, and to live a life surrendered to him in all things.

Last week my fathers surgery was a success.  We get to keep him around in this temporary world of ours for a while longer.  We have so much to learn from those who are a little further down the road than us.  Someday I would like to be able to say those words my father spoke with the same conviction I saw in his eyes, “Everything I have, and all that I am is the Lord’s.”  If you know anyone around you who is truly at that place in life, draw near to them and drink deep.

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