A couple of weeks ago the hubster was reading Bill Hybel's book Courageous Leadership (which by the way is well worth taking the time to read) and we talked about a quote he read there about Mother Theresa's life. Mother Theresa made some personal private vows early on in her life.
One was to refuse God nothing that he asked of her no matter the cost to her personally, to give him carte blanche, and another was to do whatever he asked of her without delay.
Now skip back a couple of weeks to a women's event where Pastor Cathy Green was speaking. Cathy talked about a moment of revelation for her that came when God asked her to give her sorrows to him. She talked about how she realized she didn't want to give her sorrows to God even though the Bible says about Jesus dying on the cross Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! Is 53:4 TLB.
As Cathy thought about it, she admitted to herself that she didn't want to give Jesus her sorrows because if she did they would be gone forever, she feared they would be forgotten and her pain with them. She shared how as she was thinking about this, she remembered the verse You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book. Ps 56:8 TLB.
I was so touched by her revelation that every single tear that we shed is written down by God, it is recorded and remembered by him. He has collected them, he counts them as precious.
When my little sister was around 4 years old, the age Little Bun is now, I was 17 and I remember that Dad, when she cried, would sit her on his lap and hold his big work-hardened, rough hands out in front of her and he would say ooh wait a minute, wait a minute, let me catch those tears, they're precious they are, they make my hands soft. Can I have them please?
As the hubster and I talked about what it meant to surrender everything to Christ - our hopes, our dreams, our fears, our insecurities - to give them wholly to him just because he asked for them, and as I thought about Cathy's revelation and the picture of my Dad collecting my sister's tears, all three came together into one beautiful picture of Abba Papa, our Creator and Father.
He sees yours and my struggles, our pain, our tears of frustration, our fears of not being good enough. He sent the only son he had, Jesus to take them off us, to make a way so that he could collect our tears and record them in his book. He remembers every struggle we've ever had, every heartbreak. They are no forgotten, he has recorded even the ones that time has swept away from our memory and he counts every one of them as precious.
I find that supremely beautiful and encouraging. It does however require us to surrender them. Ps Cathy Green is a remarkable lady, completely soaked in prayer and often very honest, in a beautiful funny way. She commented to a friend that her bottle must be very big and her straight-talking friend replied: Oh no, it's very small. You haven't surrendered any tears!
Mother Theresa's challenge, the example of her life, is huge. Do we surrender everything to Jesus? Do we hold our grief and our sorrows back from him? Do we hold our dreams back from him, afraid that he won't give them to us? Radical living means radical surrender.
I'd love to hear your thoughts please leave a comment.