Matthew 26: 39
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
YOUR WILL, NOT MINE. These are words that most Christians are taught to pray as part of our prayer life. But I wonder how many of us really mean those words? Sure, we mean them as long as God wants what we want, but what about during the storms in our life? Do we mean them when we are sick and see no end in sight? Do we mean them when a loved one has a life-threatening illness or injury? Do we mean them when even though we do what we think we’re supposed to be doing, but things go from bad to worse?
I want what I want when I want it!’
I think if most of us were honest with ourselves that’s really what we mean when we pray the words your will, not mine. And I’m also sure that most of us want to mean those words. So, how do we get from our own selfish viewpoint to the point where we truly mean those words? I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you a little about my journey to get closer to meaning those words. And believe me, I’m not all the way there, but I’m closer than I used to be!
First, believe in God’s love for you. I’m not talking about some spiritual type of love that says God loves all of us. I’m talking the personal kind of love where God knows your name. God knows your past, present, and future. God weeps with you during your pain. Once, you truly believe that God loves you no matter what you’ve done in the past or will do in the future, then you’re ready for the second step.
Second, trust that God will take care of you. God is omniscient. That’s a fancy word meaning that God knows ALL. He knows all there is to know about the past, present, and future. Not just for us, but for everyone. Only He sees the intricate connections between us and the world. We can’t understand why we need to suffer, but God does. He wants us to trust HIm. To have faith in Him. To believe that He will take care of us, no matter what. In Romans 8: 39, God promises to work out all things for the good of those who love Him. Believe that promise.
Third, accept God’s will. Once we truly believe God loves us and that He will take care of us, then we can come to accept God’s will for us, even when bad things happen.I’ll be the first to say it’s not easy, but what I do is keep going back to steps 1 and 2. I have a sentence prayer I say whenever I’m feeling anxious about my situation. I know you love me, God and I trust you to take care of me in whatever way is best.
Right now, you might be saying, “Oh, that’s easy for you to say, but you’re not facing the problems I have.”
That is true, but believe me I’m facing enough of my own problems. After being diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors in May of last year, I’ve had treatment on the first tumor and developed serious side effects so that I was on steroids for 5 months. As a result of the steroids, I developed severe pain in my joints and muscles. And after all that I still lost all my hearing on the right side as well as developed balance problems. The hearing loss and balance problems are permanent unless God chooses to intervene.
I’m happy to report that my pain has lessened considerably and is no longer as debilitating as it was one. God has been good to me! Now, I’m facing the second treatment and know that it’s a very real possibility that I could become completely deaf. I don’t want to be deaf, but I’ve come far along enough in my journey that my prayer is still, I know you love me, God and I trust you to take care of me in whatever way is best.
Believe me, it wasn’t easy for me to get to that point. I kept telling God that I couldn’t do it. That becoming deaf was just too much to bear. That if I did become deaf, I would just go to bed and give up. But somewhere in the past few months, I’ve changed. I know that with God by my side, I will not go to bed and give up. As Gloria Gaynor sang, I WILL SURVIVE.
In fact, with God by my side, I know that I will not only survive, but thrive.
My prayer for you is that God will take your pain away, take that thorn from you, that God will give you your heart’s desires. However; if that’s not His will, I pray that you will know that God still loves you, God still has good plans for you, and that God will never, never forsake you. Amen.