I Surrender All

A few drops of rain spatter onto the windshield. I idly flip the windshield wipers to "intermittent" . . .

"It wasn't raining when I left home! Where is it coming from, anyway?"

I squint at the trees sliding by to my left, then I reach for my glasses and slip them on. That's better. Now I can actually see the sparsely-spaced homes lining Bolton Rd.

"What am I doing here?"

I glance down at my dog. She had decided on a "dip" in the pond just moments earlier, and she is now banished to the car floor. Even though she looks at me with those sad, brown eyes, begging me to let her up on the seat, I don't relent.

"Why can't I be sitting at home, relaxing, like I should be?"

I shake my head grimly, trying to piece it all together. Earlier in the day, I had helped my hospitalized mother buy a load of appliances for her new home. They had told us we would be called 12 hours in advance of the delivery, so when the phone rang at 8:30 p.m. to say that the delivery truck now stood in front of her condo waiting for me to come unlock the door, I was more than a little annoyed!

"Why tonight?"

I slow to a crawl to cross the railroad. It doesn't seem to matter how careful I am, this particular set of tracks always sends me flying. As I glance down at the dog jouncing on the floorboards, I know that tonight is no exception!

"Maybe I'll be back home by 9:00 . . ."

The rain is coming down harder now, and I switch the wipers from intermittent to "Lo". A city counter is just ahead. You know-those rubber lines the city stretches across roads to determine how many cars pass that way? It's their way of knowing where their road repair money will be used the most wisely. If you ask me, you don't need a counter on Bolton Rd! All you need to do is jostle down it once. You'll be convinced!

"Don't I deserve a relaxing evening at home?"

I turn right onto the highway. At least the road is smoother here. The rain has slowed again, and as I absently switch the wipers back to "intermittent", the words to a song resound through my mind: I Surrender All!

"I Surrender All? What does THAT mean???"

As I brake the car at the red light, I remember I haven't yet flipped on my left turn signal. There is a Ford in front of me, but it's too dark to read the model. Some kind of an SUV. Probably an Explorer. Then I realize I haven't turned on my headlights yet, either, but when I do so, it's too late to read the model on the Ford. The light is green. The car is already gone.

"Why is that SONG going around in my head???"

As I speed towards the tunnel-the tunnel under the canal that serves to divide the rural part of my town from the suburbans-my mind wanders back over the past few days. I am in the midst of perhaps the biggest problem I have ever faced. I've already made many bad choices. People have already been hurt, and no matter what I do now, more hurt will result.

"Why am I thinking about this NOW?"

The row of stoplights marks my entrance to town. I pass through the first three, but at the fourth light, I put on my left turning signal.

"I Surrender All . . ."

The hood of my car points between the 7-11 and the First Interstate Bank. This is an older part of town. Just beyond the two businesses, the sides of South Ave. Are lined with older homes. War time homes, or so I've been told. The modern businesses seem a bit out of place on this corner!

"Why couldn't the appliances have been delivered on a different day? Why didn't I receive a phone call earlier to tell me they would be coming tonight? Why were they delivering appliances at 8:45 p.m. anyway?"

When the cars coming from the other direction finally subside, I make my turn. But my mind immediately reverts to my problem, and I realized that throughout all of my bad choices, I have heard God's gentle voice gently calling me-to surrender! God wants me to let it go! God wants me to give it to Him! Am I ready to do this? Can I trust Him to handle a problem of this caliber? Isn't it too much, even for God, to straighten out the mess I've created? Is it fair for me to even ask this of Him?

"I Surrender All!"

I shake my head, trying to focus on something-anything! Like the Mazda 626 ahead of me. I can't tell what color it is. It's too dark. I pull up behind him at the next light, but when it turns green, the Mazda speeds away, leaving me in a shower of water droplets kicked up from the road. Annoyed, I flip my wipers on again.

"How did I get myself into this mess anyway?"

The Mazda slows at the next light, Lindon St. Will he turn right or go straight? I smile in amusement that I would even care; nevertheless, as I flip on the right turn signal, I am pleased that he goes straight. But my purposeful distraction isn't working. I can still hear God's voice telling me I have to put an end to the mess I've gotten into. I DON'T want to hear this! It will get people into trouble. It will get ME into trouble!

"I Surrender All . . ."

No. I won't. I can't!

I am on Lindon St. now. Just ahead and to my right is No Frills. No Frills. I have to laugh. It's a grocery store that is truly without "frills"! You even have to bring your own boxes and bags! I shop there just the same. With the price of groceries these days, who needs to pay for extra frills?

"Why couldn't I have used this evening to relax-to think it all over? To come up with a different solution-one that won't get so many people into trouble?"

I bounce over another set of railroad tracks, musing as I do that I've never seen a train pass this way.

"What am I doing here?"

I turn left onto Drifter, and make an immediate right onto Firewood Street. My mom's condo complex is just ahead, to the right. Sudden fear grips me. Will they still be waiting? Or will they have taken off for their next delivery? It's stupid, I know, but then so is the whole trip!


To my relief, a delivery truck is still parked in front of my mom's place, and a refrigerator, a stove, and a dishwasher line the driveway. As I pull up to the curb, I can see the stacked washer/dryer set still in the back of the truck. "I'm sorry!" I say to the two rather impatient-looking men. "We had NO IDEA you would deliver today!"

"Dan told us we HAD to deliver today!" Was the unexpected response.

"But-Dan said you would CALL before delivering!"

As the annoyed-looking men start to argue, and I realize this will get us nowhere. "I'm sorry," I repeat. "Let me unlock the door!"

They seem appeased, and without further argument, they squeeze the 34" refrigerator through the front door.

I suddenly remember my dog. She has jumped out of the car now, but her hair bristles on the nap of her neck as she looks at the delivery truck. She hates trucks. When they thunder down our road, she runs as far as she can in the opposite direction. I can almost read her thoughts in her stance: "This truck isn't moving! Can I trust it?" She obviously decides that she can't, for she turns to run in the other direction. It is definitely time for the leash!

"I Surrender All!"

The men have moved in the dishwasher and the stove now, and are going back to the truck for the stacked washer/dryer set. I stare at them as they bring it down the ramp and begin to roll it into the condo.

"Why couldn't it have been tomorrow?"

But pondering the "why" isn't getting me any closer to understanding it. Besides, the men have finished. The entire ordeal is over! I can go home!

I follow the delivery truck back onto Lindon St. But instead of continuing on, it now stops in front of a worn-down home with crumbled concrete steps.

"Another delivery? At this hour?"

Before I can begin to feel sorry for the occupants of the home, I remember the one tiny moment of surrender in my day. We had been told that the delivery truck could arrive any day of the week. Immediately I had been tempted to worry. What if they wanted to deliver on a Wednesday? Or a Tuesday? Or, horror of horrors, a Monday? I am scheduled to work those days. There wouldn't be time to sit at mom's condo and wait for the delivery truck! But at that moment, I had also heard the song:

"I Surrender All."

On the spot, I had surrendered the delivery date problem to Jesus. And now it is resolved. They won't be coming on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, and no, not even on a Monday! They have already come. I surrendered it to Jesus. He was true to His Word!

As I turn down Glidden St. to cut back over to the tunnel, I suddenly know why the delivery was tonight. God wants me to know I can trust Him, no matter what. My only job is to surrender to His will!

"I Surrender All!"

As I speed back under the canal, I know what I have to do. I have to surrender the OTHER problem to Him as well. All of it. I have to put an end to the mess, and I have to let HIM worry about the consequences.

"I Surrender All!"

For the first time in days, peace floods my heart. Jesus can and will carry my problem. I don't need to. I simply have to surrender it to Him!

Do YOU have anything YOU need to surrender? Do it now, my friends!

Lyn Chaffart

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