Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
I have read this verse so many times and thought, “Of course I must love God with all of myself. Sure, I am doing that. Check. Move on to the next verse.” In reading the verse, I sped through the little word all three times over. But I’m learning that all is truly the key word here.
It’s easy to love God with part of my heart, part of my soul, and part of my strength. Now I understand the difficulty of what he is asking me to do. I am beginning to see that all encompasses much more than three letters.
All means loving God when my world falls apart, when my plans are crushed, and when my dreams are shattered. When circumstances pull me deep into the dark place, where is my all? Buried in self-pity? When I am in the pit, do I reach my arms up to God? Or sit in the mud and feel sorry for myself? In the dark places, I usually put all my heart, soul and strength into just surviving. When I take a piece of God’s all and keep it for myself, it gets ugly. I grasp onto that slice of self-sufficiency and hide in the corner trying to make myself feel better. Here’s the problem with taking part of God’s all into the corner with me—my hands are clenched tightly and my back is turned. I am not reaching up to God with open hands to accept all he is offering to me.
At church yesterday, we sang “Jesus Paid it All”. To be honest, everyone else sang while I cried.
Jesus didn’t give just part of himself as payment for my sins.
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
’Cause Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
Lord, I have been holding back pieces of my heart. I want to give you ALL of my heart, my soul, and my strength. Teach me to let go of those pieces that I’m grasping and find my all in you.