In Christian circles there is a lot of talk about “giving God everything.” Jesus made it clear that being His followers meant abandoning all rights to “my” in order to receive “His” (Mt. 16:24). It’s not an easy task and this side of eternity we will have to be constantly saying “no” to ourselves in order to say “yes” to Him.
It is often instructive, though, to think about those things that we easily give to God, and to think about those things that we hold back. We may easily turn over 95% of our lives, and yet want to hold 5% for ourselves. This was the struggle of the rich young ruler (Mt. 19:16-30). He was willing to sacrificially obey the commands of God, but not part with his wealth. Being a Christian means giving it all to Christ, and daily living in the truth of that relinquishment.
What we may not remember though is that when God says He wants it all, what He means is that He wants it all – the triumphs and the struggles, the joys and the sorrows, the healing and the hurts. As a song [affiliate link] recorded by Enfield and written by Ryan Foglesong states “In season of sorrow and blessing I give you my pain and my praise.” We tend to want to give God one or the other. We turn to Him only when things are bad, when it’s obvious (to us) that we need His help. Or we think that we get things in order for ourselves, before we can turn to Him – we wait until things are good so that we can present Him our futile gifts. But Jesus doesn’t just want the good times, and He doesn’t just want the bad. He wants it all. In season and out of season – He wants you, His child, simply to be His.
It’s sorrowfully ironic that in an age where we “just want to be wanted” the King of Kings desires us, yet we hold back. And the reason we do so is that at some level we don’t trust Him. We don’t give Him our all, because we’re afraid of what relinquishing that control means. Yet, time and time again, He’s proven faithful and true. He’s demonstrated that He works in the good and the bad. He’s shown that He wants our pain and our praise.
If only we would give it to Him.
Share your thoughts – is it easier to give God our pain or our praise? Why do you think that is?