I Surrender All

April 17, 2016
by Iris Ford

A song written in 1896 still drives me to tears. "I surrender all" by Judson W. VanDeVenter is a tearjerker. Do you know it? Our choir sang it this Easter, and I had to control my tears in order to sing. Mark 10:28 puts it this way: "Lo, we have left all and have followed thee." (KJV) I remember away back in my life when I literally left all to follow Jesus. I was at the Toronto School of Music and left to enter the deaconess school. I gave up a lot then, sacrificing it all to follow Jesus.

The song puts it in four verses, all pointing to the effort of giving it all up for Christ. The first verse deals with the first, basic surrender. I remember lying in bed wondering if I was right for the deaconess job. I prayed about it daily. In His presence, I found fullness of joy.

It is a humbling moment when one gives up all one had hoped for in life, but I surrendered it all. "Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine" is the way the author puts it in the third verse. Then he adds, "May I know Thy pow'r divine." He certainly realized what was involved in giving up everything, surrendering it all to the Lord's will. I remember how I lay in bed praying, "Lord, do I really have to surrender everything?" Yes, I did, that night, and I will always remember it.

God's peace descended as I realized how close Jesus had come, and I said, "Lord, I give myself to Thee." I could have written that hymn — it sure struck home as I echoed the words "I surrender all." It is in knowing that everything we do and hope to be is in surrender to the Lord. Then, the Holy Spirit takes control of our ups and downs, filling the heart with feelings of gratitude. I have belonged to the Lord ever since I surrendered it all that night. That complete surrender has gone with me through everything that I have done since: writing books in Jesus' name; giving sermons knowing that it all belongs to God — every word, the whole church, and all the people. Ever since that night years ago, I have realized that His blessings really have fallen on me, as if in answer to the hymn-writer's prayer, "Let Thy blessing fall on me." I am sure that His blessings will continue through life.

The surrender is complete. "All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all." If you have not yet surrendered your life to the Lord, sing that song and let it all go into His loving embrace. Your future is in His hands — forever.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes, we get tears thinking about Your crucifixion and the horror of it all, watching You dying for the world and for each one of us. Lord, I do now leave it all and surrender to You, and I want to follow Your Spirit daily. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

About the author:

Iris Ford
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Gotcha on this hymn, so true.


    God bless you Iris. Thanks for your faithfulness.


    Yes, Iris, perfect peace is found in Christ Jesus, especially when we surrender all to him. Blessings.


    Iris, that was beautiful. Every surrendered heart stands in agreement and is moved by those profound lyrics and God’s profound love. God Bless.


    Hello Iris,
    Encouraging. God centred. Well written.
    Thank you and God bless you.


    Dear Iris:
    Have enjoyed your excellent devotionals over the years. They are a real blessing!
    Indeed, when we give all to Jesus, we get so much more back – our sins forgiven, new mercies every morning, and eternity with Him.
    Blessings.


    Iris Ford; you are one lady I would love to meet. if not on earth for sure in Heaven. Surrendering all is not a natural thing. Hording is. Mine it’s mine; how soon in life do we hear that.
    Lord it’s all yours is only a choice that can be truly made and carried out by the strength given to us by God through His indwelling Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord for men and women who will lay all on the alter at Your Cross. Iris, I pray that God will bless you abundantly above all you ask or think.


    Me too!


    Great devotional, Iris! Thanks! You’ve got me singing the song.
    Blessings


    Dear Iris,
    Again, Thanks.
    I surrender all. Blessed is the writer, and blest those who follow the One to whom we surrender — only he is worthy. I’m glad you surrendered ALL.
    Keep writing.


    Dear Iris,
    You have moved me to tears by reminding me of this beautiful hymn. My mother had a beautiful soprano voice and she used to sing it as a solo. I can hear her now. I am so blessed by every devotional you write. God has called you and fitted you to fulfill your destiny.
    I love the Lord with all my heart and though I am nearly 85 and have little to give Him, I try to be a blessing and live to honour Him.
    I will be playing I Surrender All on my piano today.
    Thank you so very much and I hope you will continue to write.


    Thank you for your devotions today. I forward it every day to an 80 year old man at church who has gone through some very difficult times the last few years. He really enjoys them and very often thanks me for them. Sometimes he’ll say that he needed it that very day and it fulfilled the need.

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