Is your all on the altar?

Before my youngest was born, I had heard about post-partum depression, but had never experienced it.  I wasn’t diagnosed with it, but I am almost certain I would have been, had I reported my symptoms.

The enemy used this tiny baby to tempt me to fear, and fret, and despair.  I would wake up in the middle of a deep sleep, with my heart pounding, and run to her crib to check on her just to make sure she was still breathing.  I remember checking on her on one particular occasion, and seeing her so still…and my mind screamed at me “she’s dead!”, and my heart pounded as I put my hand on her back to try to feel a heart beat, and when I didn’t…and my fear escalated, I lifted her little body from the crib, with images of doctors, ambulances, and the like running through my tortured mind, I managed to wake her up and make her cry.  As I rocked her back to sleep, I prayed for God’s protection on her life, and that He would give me wisdom as she grew, that I would teach her to love Jesus, and that she would  live her life to please Him.  Most of my prayers for her were as a result of fear, and I reacted the only way I knew to react, and that is to run to Jesus and give it to Him.

I still run to Him for her.

I am recently reminded of the warfare I engaged in for her in her growing up days, and the lessons that God used through her to grow me up, as a child of God.  It was during this time that I heard a very moving series of messages by Calvary Chapel preachers about Abraham and Isaac.  As I read the passage in Genesis, I could hear that still, small voice of God in my spirit,

“Do you trust me?”   Of course, I trust you, Lord.

“Give her to me.”  What?  I already gave her to you, we dedicated her a few weeks back…she’s yours.

“Then why are you fretting over her?  Who’s is she?”  Wait…are you going to take her from me?  I can’t bear the thought of losing a child, please Lord…”

“Is she yours, or is she Mine?  Do you trust me?  Will you give her back to me?”

I struggled for a long time with giving her to the Lord, but I finally did.  Every time she rebelled and broke my heart, I struggled more, and did it again.  Every time I was tempted to fear for her, or it looked like I was losing her, I could hear God’s voice “Who’s is she?”

She turns 18 this week, and I’m faced with the same questions I was posed when she was a tiny girl.  I was reminiscing tonight and listening to some of the old time hymns that I was raised on, and happened on one by Elisha Hoffman, which is the title of this post.  “Is Your All on the Altar?”  The lyrics are very convicting, and I’m convinced that I will not have peace until I have let go of my expectations, desires, and intentions for her, quit jumping in to try to save her or fix her, and allow God do the work He intends to do in her life.  Anyway, the lyrics to the hymn:

  1. 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.

    • Refrain:
      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.
  2. Would you walk with the Lord,
    In the light of His word,
    And have peace and contentment alway?
    You must do His sweet will,
    To be free from all ill,
    On the altar your all you must lay.
  3. Oh, 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.
  4. 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.
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4 comments on “Is your all on the altar?

  1. As I read this Lyn, it made me reflect on the Blessed Mother. How I am sure you have all this in common with her. I am sure as well her “expectations” for her Son was not seeing Him hang on the Cross. Go to her Immaculate Heart Lyn, and ask her to lead you now. Meditate and reflect on all she went through as a mother. The greatest Mother of all. Great post and loved reading it. God Bless, SR

    • Momma Mary, her Momma, St. Monica, and I have had some serious prayer meetings as of late. Thank you, SR. I don’t know much about the devotion to the Immaculate Heart, can you tell me more? I wrote about my reflections of Mary’s heart last year, your comment reminded me of it so I went back and re-read it. How I relate to her lately, how I long to respond like she did, and how often I fail at my attempts.

      • Yes, I will. Busy this weekend due to holiday but, will be emailing you when have the time. God Bless, SR

  2. When my youngest was born (he will be 30 next year) I kept thinking that I loved him so much, too much, and God was going to take him from me because I loved him so much. I look back now and I was probably in the same boat as you (postpartum depression), just different oars. I don’t recall how I finally dealt with it but eventually I stopped thinking that. He did three tours in Iraq and I prayed fervently for his (and all our troops’) safety. He came home three times and is now in the National Guard. He works for them as well so he continues to serve his country and thankfully is home every night with his wife and kids. While I didn’t fight for his religious education, I have prayed for his realization that God is real, present, and wants to be a part of his life. He married a Catholic girl (raised Catholic & raising the children in the Catholic faith) so I continue to pray and have hope. One day I believe God will be asked into his heart and he will wonder why it took him so long. I have given this up to God because he is the miracle worker – not I. But we try to live our faith so he can see what having faith looks! Lyn, thanks for asking the tough questions here … we need to be challenged.

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