"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28)
Earlier this week, I went out during my lunch break from Teen Challenge London for my daily exercise. Just before entering the park, I met a young man, a former Teen Challenge resident who left Teen Challenge before completing the programme.
He began to share with me some difficult situations that had come into his life since leaving us. Some were of his own making, some were not. He was struggling in life and admitted that he was worn out trying to carry the burdens.
I felt Christ draw near as we spoke and asked him if he remembered the old hymn, ‘I surrender all’? I gently told him that this was what he now needed to do. His eyes dropped to the ground, and after a few seconds silence, he looked up and said , “I know”.
I prayed with him on the street corner before leaving him (keeping our social distance, of course!).
As I walked through the park, the words of the hymn kept going through my mind.
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 Saviour
I surrender all
Interestingly, Judson Van DeVenter, the writer of this hymn, stated, ‘‘For some time, I had struggled between developing my talents in the field of art and going into full-time evangelistic work. At last the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered all. A new day was ushered into my life. I became an evangelist and discovered down deep in my soul a talent hitherto unknown to me. God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender chord, He caused me to sing.’’
Countless people in the last 100 years have been very glad that Judson Van DeVenter did indeed ‘surrender all’ because out of that surrender came these beautiful words that we still sing today.
Maybe you too are struggling to carry your burdens. Maybe, like my Teen Challenge friend and Judson Van DeVenter, you’re struggling to make that full commitment to Christ.
A day came when Jesus stood before a multitude; he lifted up his voice said,
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
That voice reverberated over the Galilean Hills, reverberated down through time and sounds where we stand today.
The happiest people I know in life are those who have accepted Christ’s invitation and surrendered all to Him.
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Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.