It’s almost a dirty word, isn’t it? Hearing it evokes images of giving up, losing and waving a white flag. Beaten. Over. Done.
This is not an easy topic to tackle, nor do I imagine it’s particularly popular. Surrender is not a sexy sell for Christianity. Imagine this conversation: “Oh, you want to be a Christian? Okay, just give God everything. That’s all.” DeMuth addresses this in one chapter in the book, saying we, the church, often boil down the Gospel to “All you do is (fill in the blank).” Then we add requirements later and wonder why people walk away from a faith they so easily embraced.
DeMuth says the gospel starts with “all you do is die to your own desires and embrace Jesus’ lordship.” “All your life is the gospel,” DeMuth says.
I’ve been chewing on the chapters of this book for almost a month now, and though I’m not quite finished with the book, I didn’t want to wait another week to share it with you. Because one of the chapters I read today was about politics and how we treat people who have different opinions or lifestyles or beliefs than us. A timely word if ever there was one.
Throughout, DeMuth approaches the Everything life, as she calls it, with transparency and humility. She is a sweet soul who admits from the start that she is “a fellow struggler, one who doesn’t often feel Jesusy or strong or faith-filled.” I appreciate the honesty with which she shares about her journey. The abuse she suffered as a child. The ministry “failures” her family has experienced. The hurt from fellow believers. The disconnect between belief and action.
She is not speaking from a lofty tower of Christian perfection. She is pounding the pavement of life, day in, day out, seeking the heart of Jesus.
This is the sort of book I could underline nearly all of, and my journal is filled with notes and quotes from DeMuth’s experiences and wisdom. The book is small, but mighty. Not bogged down with incomprehensible jargon but simply stated truths. I will go back to this book again and again. Everything came at a time when I needed encouragement that following God doesn’t always look like success, that personal sacrifices are worth it, that others have surrendered everything and found God faithful and their lives filled.
So, get your hands on this book. It’s food for the soul.
And would you pray for Mary DeMuth and her family? In the midst of the book launch for Everything, her youngest daughter is suffering from an undiagnosed illness that causes debilitating headaches. She blogs and updates here regularly. Further proof that following Christ doesn’t mean everything will always go the way you want or expect. But following Him is always worth it.
In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of Everything from Thomas Nelson through the Booksneeze program.