Music Monday: “Take My Life and Let It Be.” by Brian Doerksen
by: Debbie Waltz
Welcome Back, Readers~
Greetings everyone. I hope you all have viewed or listened to my interview with “Even If” coordinator Renée Dollenmayer. My participation in this nonprofit organization has certainly inspired my work with the disabled community and strengthened my walk with the Lord. The weekly Bible study gatherings remind me I’m not alone in my suffering and that God is never too far away. This month, I joined their book club, chat; July’s reading just happened to be Suffering is Never For Nothing by Elizabeth Elliott. Now for those who are not familiar with her story; here is a short version. Elizabeth and her first husband, Jim, traveled to the deepest jungles to witness to the Indians living there. Unfortunately, the Indians took them for cannibals and he never returned home, along with the 3 other men of the group.
Now you would think that would deter Elizabeth from continuing to live among the Indians and teach them.
She lived with her children, continuing to do the work of two people and being a mother. Her experiences with the Auca Indians of Ecuador are chronicled in her autobiography, Through The Gates of Splendor.
Anyway, Elizabeth’s experiences with suffering have brought a unique perspective for those willing to listen. The premise is quite simple suffering is never for nothing. Many people often wonder why a merciful God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Now I could sit here and quote verses about God’s ways being higher (Isaiah 55:9 [which they are.]) But I prefer to think of the answer being much simpler-that God wants our attention to be on him rather than on this world. Think about it! If everything were perfect, we would have no reason to look up.
But we aren’t perfect, because Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the tree (thinking they knew better than God). It broke our connection with God and we also have inherited that sinful nature. So God figured out another way. Mind you. He didn’t have to, but he did. Why? Because he loved us and love requires sacrifice.
Romans 5: 6 says: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Learning from that sacrifice, it is only logical to assume that our past will require suffering as well. After all, doesn’t God say: “Take up your cross and Follow me?”
Still, that doesn’t make it any easier. This is where I find it important to distinguish the difference between happiness and acceptance. The two are not the same thing, nor are they mutually exclusive. Let me explain. First, happiness is an emotion, a feeling based on positive circumstances or a state of being. Acceptance, on the other hand, is receiving a gift you are given and being thankful for it. It doesn’t mean you are always happy about your circumstance, but it trust the giver (God) has a bigger purpose mind. You may not understand it now or even years from now, but you believe relying on his faithfulness in the past and love for you.
That brings me to the final section of the book and what we do with our lives as a result. We offer it back to God. If we rightfully learned all these lessons about acceptance, gratefulness, etc. this should lead us to want to give something back of what God has given to us.
Elizabeth said it much better in her book, but I could go on and on.
That being said, for today’s music Monday, I have chosen to highlight a classic hymn “take my life and let it be. Throughout my reading of this book, it has allowed me to view my disability or circumstance through a very different lens. These lessons have shown me a different way of coping with my difficulties. I would highly encourage this book to anyone.
To listen to the song, it can be accessed here: