Friday, January 9, 2009

Laying It All On The Altar

This morning ~ before my feet even hit the floor ~ I found myself at the Altar ~ asking God to take some things that I have been carrying around for a while. I think I even surprised myself just how much I had to hand over. I have known for quite some time that I am not equipped to carry much of anything on my shoulders. Yet it doesn’t seem to stop me from removing them from the Lord’s shoulders and putting those burdens back onto mine. I reckon I get to thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can carry it awhile ~ maybe I can do a decent job in trying to work life’s issues out. I mean ~ how hard could it be?

And that’s just the point. It is very hard ~ extremely difficult ~ downright impossible. When I get myself in this spot I can equate it to jumping into a race car at the Indy 500 ~ taking the driver’s seat ~ and hoping to drive that thing to the finish line. Hard ~ difficult ~ impossible? Indeed.

I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that God has His own way of doing things ~ in His own time ~ and it is imperative that I keep my eyes on Him and off the circumstances of life ~ or I will sink ~ as I often have ~ just like Peter did when he took his eyes off Christ when they were walking on the water.

And so I gave back some things that I had no business having. I can’t drive that race car ~ I must remain in the passenger seat; I can’t climb to the top of that mountain ~ not without the proper climbing gear; I can’t walk that tight rope ~ unless I have the rod to balance me above and the safety net to catch me below. Thankfully, I am hopelessly incapable of running my own life.

This morning through many tears and a broken spirit I laid my "all" on the altar. An old hymn I used to sing in a little country church in southern Kentucky ~ entitled "Is Your All On The Altar" ~ came to my mind ~ and the fit was perfect.

You have longed for sweet peace
And for faith to increase
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.

Who can tell all the love
He will send from above
And how happy our hearts will be made
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at his feet
When our all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

In 1900 Elisha Hoffman was inspired by Romans 12:1 to write this song.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

12 Thoughts On The Matter:

Deborah said...

Amen! I've been there...many times...why do we have this tendency to go and take those burdens back?! What blessed peace indeed when we lay it all down!

Abounding Treasures said...

I'm praying for you Cathryn ...

I've been there before and will need to be again as I tend to try to *carry* things too :o(

Blessings!

Seeking Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Letting our burdens go is so difficult. Just remember, God is ever present and He will carry you through. There will be many times that we try to put those burdens back on our shoulders. Thank God, He hears our prayers and He knows our hearts.
Praying for you sister friend. God will take care of all.
Yours in Christ,
Bren

Cindy said...

Cathryn this is an awesome post. I tell myself that I have given it all to Jesus to carry for me and then before I know it I have snatched it back and am trying to carry it on my own.

Thank you for the reminder that we can't drive the race car.

Praying for you this morning.

Cindy

Jennifer said...

This post is so true. For some reason, I feel that if I carry my own burdens, I'm telling God that I care about what happens in my life. If I just hand them over to Him, it's like I'm being aloof.

Of course, this is all a lie from Satan. By giving burdens to Christ, we are giving Him the highest compliment; we trust Him.

Thank you for the reminder.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I'm right there in the same boat with the rest of you! I guess it's just human nature. But why can I not remember that I am "but dust" and can not make anything happen in my own power?? Every breath I take is given to me by God. Thank you for this reminder to take all our cares and burdens to the Lord!

God bless you!

Marilyn

Seeking Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Are you a night owl? I usually do not stay up very late. My husband and I think it is so unusual that we have so much in common. Do you teach too? My daughter also married a minister. We live in NC. Have you had much rain there? It seems like I read a post about flooding in your state. We would actually like to see some snow here. God bless you dear friend. I know God has opened the door for a great friendship for us.
Praying for you.
Your sister in Christ,
Bren

karin said...

Hi Cathryn,
Thanks so much for your encouraging comment on my blog. Thank you, too, for your award! I've picked it up and plan to post it on Tuesday. I've been so very busy this week, having to get some other projects out of the way.
Have an awesome week-end!

Susan B said...

Cathryn,
Thank you for the encouraging post. I don't know why we want to take back our burdens once we release them to God's care. He is sufficient to take care of them...it's a hard lesson to learn. One I still struggle with. A beautiful hymn.

Dani Joy said...

Hola from Spain! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Even though I haven´t updated it. It´s been a very interesting holiday season. I am so thankful for your blog and the beautiful inspiring God honoring words. I love the music and it´s just overall such a blessing! May We keep our eyes on the One who makes all things possible! Looking forward to sharing more!

Michele Williams said...

I am praying for you my dear friend. Amen! Our all at the alter should be there all the time... unfortunately we seem to take it back...instead of leaving it all there at the alter for Him to take care of.... Bless you my dear ...

Sue said...

Hi Cathryn,
I was going to say I take things back after thinking I've given them over, too, and also sometimes think I've forgiven someone with God's help, and find negative thoughts come back, and have to forgive again.

I already read your other posts up to here, so will go backwards and comment. I like to see the different templates you come up with. This one is cool. I like the color and the lines in the middle.

Sue