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i (want to want to) surrender all

I’m alone in my room, sitting in the center of the double bed, thinking about how I should be ready to give anything to God.


I’m about four years old, and I’m thinking about Abraham offering Isaac on the altar to God.

I feel compelled to offer God what is most precious to me, too, and so there are two options: brown bunny or strawberry girl. It’s hard to decide which I value more, or at least I pretend to myself that it is; in my heart I know strawberry girl is the one I love. I just can’t bear the thought of losing her. So I tell myself I love them pretty equally, and pick up brown bunny.

“Here, God, you can have it,” I say out loud, but nothing happens. I stand on the bed and lift both arms, raising brown bunny as high as I can toward the ceiling, feeling like a prophet from the pictures in my Bible. “Here, God, you can have it!” I say again.

He doesn’t zap brown bunny out of my hands, though, and I sit back on the bed, disappointed not in God, but in myself.

God knew that I hadn’t offered my best to him. That’s why he didn’t take it.

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I surrender all, I surrender all. All to thee, my precious savior, I surrender all.

These days, I barely sing those kinds of words. My goal in worship now is not so much to offer my best, most-beloved possessions to God as it is to try to be more honest with God.

If the words were, “I want to surrender all,” or, better, “I want to want to surrender all,” then I could sing them, but no one writes songs that way, or if they do, we don’t play them at church.

All I really pray, these days, is “Help us to know how much you love us,” because it’s only when I know that, when I believe that God saved Isaac and provided a ram in the thicket, that God saved us and provided his son in our place, it’s only if I really believe that he loves me that much, that I might be willing to trust him with my all, with my everything, with my strawberry girl and my brown bunny, both.