Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: Please Don't Ask Me Lord. Just Take It.
By Pauline Carruthers
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Loneliness is a strange feeling. It comes out of the blue and settles on the soul like a damp fog. I sit at my computer, glance out of the window and thank the Lord for blessings. A red-sailed boat glides into view on a sea sparkling in the spring sunshine; a perfect backdrop for men in white shirts and trousers, playing bowls on close-cut grass. Creamy clouds ride a blue sky, skimming the tops of tall trees dressed in spring green. My favourite classical music enhances the view and wrings out my heart with its melody. Memories come in waves and a single tear makes its lonely way down my cheek. It’s been two years, yet missing him has not diminished, simply become an acceptance of a new phase in my life. A new and beautiful place to live - on my own.
Though I would like to wallow a little longer, I do as He asks and surrender my lonely feelings to Jesus, knowing that He will receive them again and again before they rest forever in His hands.
‘Lord You have blessed me over the years, but sometimes I feel You have asked too much.’ A stillness wraps around me and I know He is reminding me of all the things He has not asked of me. The things I have willingly given and the things He has had to prise from my hands. Things I have given and unknowingly taken back again. Sometimes there has been a choice, but Oh how much easier it is when there is no choice. My lips ease into a half smile and I feel His love washing over me, as he gently leads me into calmer waters. Gratitude overrides solitude as He reminds me that I am never really alone.
The music comes to an end in a stunningly emotional crescendo, that dips into the ocean of my soul and dredges up a fountain of thankfulness. Loneliness is not forever. I have only been in this new place for four months. He has a plan, but for the moment He demands contentment in my circumstances, whilst He teaches me the joy of surrender all over again.
I flip the CD back to the beginning and settle down to fit the music to the memories. Thoughts zone in to a holiday we had spent in this lovely area of the country, maybe a couple of decades ago. An image of an old church comes to mind. A hand written notice in red ink pinned to a huge solid oak door darkened with age and stiff with lack of use, advertised a Christian book sale that day. Pushing open the heavy door we had stepped into a narrow hallway leading into a high-ceilinged room, where the soft sound of gentle worship songs provided a subtle background for the animated chatter of a space crammed with people. The tantalising aroma of percolating coffee and freshly warmed scones invaded the senses, battling for supremacy against the distinctly musty smell of old books.
We had browsed for a while, relishing the warm and friendly atmosphere, chatting, picking up books that interested us, content to wander unhurriedly around the generously stacked tables. A stall overflowing with bric-a-brac had caught my eye and I had sauntered over to take a look. A box of assorted bookmarks grabbed my attention and I picked out one in the shape of a cross.
As I turned it over in my hands the words written on it pierced my heart, just as surely as if a sword had been thrust into it, forcing a spontaneous spurt of tears from my eyes.
‘I asked Jesus how much He loved me. And He stretched out His arms and died.’
Whenever I think of, or sing those words, ‘I surrender all’, I’m reminded of that simple bookmark.
And my heart is pierced again as I contemplate the thorns that pierced His head and the sword that pierced His side, silently crying out - ‘I surrender all.’
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