Give them all to Jesus

(Written by Jennie Gillies)
I have been really appreciating the daily reflections that have been written by various members of our church over the past few months. Thank you so much to those who have taken the time to write down and share their thoughts, experiences, wisdom and prayers. They have encouraged and challenged me and I love the way God is using each of you to bless our church community while we can’t be together in the same way as normal. I didn’t think I’d have anything to contribute, but today while I was hanging out the washing (a place where I often do a lot of my praying and listening and thinking! And with six of us at home, there’s always plenty of
washing to keep me at the line for a while!) a song came to mind from back in my teen years.
Some of you who have been a part of our church for many years may remember that we used to often have items during our church services. Couples, families, or groups would sing/play a song up the front during the service or at family camps. We occasionally do it now too, but I’m sure back then we did it more often. Or that’s how I remember it anyway! I recall David and Jenny Thomas singing together, the Sinclair gang up there too, and of course much to the excitement of my brothers (Barry and Paul) and myself, our parents would offer the Akers family to present a song! Just what teenagers love doing!! My kids can’t quite cope with the thought of it when I tell them about it!
The song that came to mind today is called “Give them all to Jesus” and I remember our Akers family of five performing this song – mum playing the guitar and all of us singing. We actually ended up singing
it quite a few times to various different groups over a couple of years (somewhat reluctantly for some of us I recall!!) – at our church, at a family gathering, and even an impromptu performance at a friend’s
church when we were just visiting! We were invited to their home church gathering in the evening and mum just happened to have her guitar with her…
We’ve had many a laugh about that song since! Please don’t ask for a rendition when we return to church! Today though was probably the first time ever, or at least in a long time, that I’ve actually thought about the words and the message in the song.
Give them all to Jesus
Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows?
Are you tired of spinning round and round?
Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life
And at the feet of Jesus lay them down
Give them all, give them all
Give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys
Give them all, give them all
Give them all to Jesus
And he will turn your sorrow into joy
He never said you’d only see sunshine
He never said there’d be no rain
He only promised us a heart full of singing
At the very thing that once brought pain
Give them all, give them all
Give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys
Give them all, give them all
Give them all to Jesus
And he will turn your sorrow into joy
A few weeks ago I found myself in a difficult place where I’d been struggling with various things, including parenting challenges and disappointments over high expectations of myself, my kids, my marriage. I think I was trying to control and manage everything and everyone perfectly all of the time. And it was not going well! I was feeling stressed a lot of the time, I was often grumpy, I was not sleeping well and would wake up in the night feeling tense and lay awake for hours. One morning after reading the daily reflection for that day, all the stress and fear and disappointments came tumbling out with many tears as I asked God to help me let it all go and hand it all over to him.
I’m not normally much of a journal writer, but here’s what I wrote that day, words that came as I “gave it all to Jesus” and as he listened and ministered to my heart and mind, took away the grief and stress, and gave me a peace and a certainty that I could trust him with it all…
“I’ve been worried and upset and stressed over too many things lately (I listed them all down). Time for it to stop. I’ve got to let it go and give it to you God. I can’t do it anymore. I give you control over it all. I feel you’ve told me that all I have to do is LOVE. Love you, love my husband, love my kids, love others, and let you take care of the rest. Please help me not to try and take control. Let me trust you with my family and our future. You can do it much better than me.
My heart is yours, Lord. Today I breathe in you, your spirit, your love, your power, your strength, your peace, your wisdom. I breathe out my fears, my stresses, my anxieties, my doubts, my negativity, my criticisms, my doubt in myself, my sins and guilts. 
Thank you for loving me, for being faithful to me. I’m sorry for being selfish, for taking control, for not trusting you with my future, with my family’s future. Thank you for blessing me with a wonderful husband, great kids, a beautiful place to live, a good job, a loving family and special friends. I am so blessed. I’m sorry I had it all out of perspective. I give you my life, my dreams, my future. I choose to love. I choose the way of faith, hope and love. I trust you with all that is to come.”
The song today was a reminder that I have to keep on giving it all to Jesus, as my tendency is to want to take some of it back and hold onto it again! Each day I need to PRAY and LOVE and trust him to take care of the rest. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” And I pray that as you do this Jesus will indeed ‘turn your sorrow into joy’ and give you a ‘heart full of singing’. If you’d like to you can listen to the song “Give them all to Jesus” via this link – and imagine the Akers family in their early 1990’s hairdos and fashion singing it to you!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k5DKcmKAwI