By Charles Towne 

Rick Warren, in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, writes:

“Genuine surrender says, “Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another’s, please don’t take it away.”

Wow!  I personally have discovered that Pastor Warren’s prayer, simple as it may be, is the most difficult of all prayers.  ‘Why difficult?’ you might ask.  Because it calls for total commitment and I, if I am going to be completely honest must ask myself, am I ready for that?  Am I really ready for total, 100% surrender to God’s will?

In my own experience, as I have been forced to face the challenges of life, and especially the challenges of being my wife’s caregiver. I have found this level of commitment difficult to achieve and if the truth be known, even more difficult to maintain.

I hate to admit it, but my humanity is constantly getting in my way.

There was a time that I prayed that my situation as my Nancy’s caregiver would be taken away from me.  Now I pray that whatever situation befalls me, “please use it to draw me closer to you Father, and let it be a testimony of your love, grace, and mercy to your children.”

Have I arrived at the place in my struggle where I can honestly say that I have achieved that lofty pinnacle, that destination of premier achievement in the Christian walk that I claim to desire?

Anyone that knows me very well has been exposed to my failed character- my warts- those rough and moody personality quarks that at least to me, seem to be so very obvious.  But, what isn’t always as obvious is my heartfelt prayer that declares: O Papa God, please, whatever comes into my life, whatever difficulty, whatever challenge, let my victory in it bring glory to you and be your victory and make your workings evident in my life that others may see the Christ man within me.

It is in the challenges, the rocky places, the swift rapids of life that genuine Christian character is formed; therefore let us not avoid the difficulties, the thorny places, but embrace that which calls for us to be better than we are or can ever expect to be without Jesus Christ in our lives.


Father God, you are my strength, you are my strong right arm.  You lift me up when otherwise I would stumble and fall.  When I get in over my head, you buoy me up. You are my all in all, my keeper, my protector, my provider, my healer, and my friend.   With you, I need not fear.  I love you my God, in Jesus’ Holy and Blessed name I ask it, Amen.

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. What a beautiful prayer and inspiration. My humanity still gets in the way, unfortunately. However, life is an ongoing journey of growth and I remain hopeful that one day I will achieve this state of grace. Happy Sunday Charles!

  2. AHHH, dear NH, you have never been closer to that “state of grace” you speak of and yearn for than you are right now! I wonder, could it possibly be that grace is a muscle? If so, then by exercising it, “IT” the grace we speak of, grows stronger and thus we “achieve” that state you speak of. You are victorious, now, today! God bless you and hold you close, Chaz

  3. I am glad you are hanging in there dear brother.
    With my dear husband asleep till Jesus comes I must take one day at a time. and constantly hold onto Jesus.
    As we get older we find more stressful things and without Jesus we can not hang in there.
    I am so greatfull for my dear friend Jesus who is constantly by my side.
    I know you will have a beautiful life with Jesus. He alone can see us through.
    Love Your sister,

  4. Very profound and something that I find myself thinking about now. A lot of us (namely me) say we surrender to the Lord but after reading this column I wonder how many of us actually do. Really enjoyed this piece, and appreciate it as I am now striving to completely surrender to God. Blessings to you and yours Chuck.


  5. Chuck I always enjoy your comments, but mostly it is your prayers and deep thoughts that make me want to be a better Christian! How you take care of Nancy, and all the other things you do is a wonder to me! all I can say is I hope you never stop with your column. God bless you and keep you through all the trials of life!

  6. Dear Betty, thanks so much for checking my column out. I find just the opposite, as I get a little longer in the tooth as any old horse is apt to do I find the grass is greener closer to the barn! God bless you dear one. I am saddened to hear of your great loss. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. Hunkery Joe.

  7. Well Doc, as Papa God knows better than anyone else my character has needed a lot of smoothing and I thank Him more each day for the refining! Blessings my friend, Chaz

  8. Don Young, pal, with friends like you how could I ever lose! The time we spend in prayer and discussion about our Lord jesus and the higher things inspires me to be more than I could ever be otherwise. God sends particular people into our lives to enable us to know Him better and then at times He sends PECULIAR people into our live to help build the character in us that He desires. You can decide for yourself wether I am particular or peculiar. Blessings on you pal, Chuck Chaz

  9. What doesn’t break us makes us. Without faith most things will break even the strongest of individuals. The more I get to know you The more I understand that Papa God put you in my life for a particular reason and that reason is to grow my faith in Him.

  10. Oh Mike, you humble me. I believe that some people are placed in our live for a special reason, a purpose known only to God at the moment. I thank you for your service to our grand country, and for your friendship. May Papa God bless you and your family is my prayer. Chaz

  11. It takes a lot of courage to ask God to NOT take away our pains and trials. I have to admit, I’m not sure I have ever prayed this prayer. Thank you for the call to be courageous and trusting!

  12. Kristin, dear friend, I don’t know about courage? Perhaps it is unreasonable love, the sort of love that motivates self sacrifice, the kind of love Papa God feels for you and I. We might want to love like that but I fear it is rare… too rare, so rare I imagine it must come by much prayer. Chaz

  13. That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger….easy to say, but hard to go through.
    Thank you, Lord, for knowing exactly what we need and exactly when we need it.
    And thank you even more for going through it with us!

  14. CSG, Aint it the truth! No matter how sticky it gets we can rest assured that He will be there for us. Blessings on you and yours, Chaz

  15. It is comforting to see that so many of us are on a similar journey, genuinely desiring to please God, while honestly acknowledging the struggles we experience. Thank you and your readers for sharing your truth and humanity. Not only is God with us, but we are also with each other. What a blessing!

  16. Dear Nicole, I am so pleased that you found my column a blessing. Yes, that after is the truth of the matter, we are after all it it together. Blessings on you and yours, Chaz

  17. Well Chuck what can I say? No matter what some others may say, I am human too! When I read your words I thought of President Kennedy when he said,” Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!” If you substitute God for country it can help you keep you keep your priorities straight! As far as being human goes, I like the motto of the Navy Seals – “the only easy day was yesterday!” Remembering that helps me to keep on striving to become more Christlike even through my almost daily failures!

  18. Hey pal, the seal’s motto was and is pretty darned accurate! It has been said that there is nothing wrong with falling down but there is something wrong with lying there and groveling in the dirt, so we get up on our hind legs and man-up! Thanks for the comment, Chaz


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