Our community group is reading together Lent and Easter Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen, and every day that I read one of the Lenten devotionals, I’m amazed at how applicable it is to where I am right now. Below is my favorite one so far, one that jumped off the page at me, the message of which I’m seeking to remember and meditate on during the crazy and sleepless moments of my day (and night!).
Abandonment to God’s Will
This morning during my hour of prayer, I tried to come to some level of abandonment to my heavenly Father. It was a hard struggle since so much in me wants to do my will, realize my plans, organize my future, and make my decisions. Still, I know that true joy comes from letting God love me the way God wants, whether it is through illness or health, failure or success, poverty or wealth, rejection or praise. It is hard for me to say, “I shall gratefully accept everything, Lord, that pleases you. Let your will be done.” But I know that when I truly believe my Father is pure love, it will become increasingly possible to say these words from the heart.” Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey
Abide in God’s Will
Beloved… Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches–comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever. 1 John 2:7, 15-17
Henri Nouwen often said this prayer written by Charles de Foucauld:
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you;
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself into your hands,
without reserve and with boundless confidence.
For you are my Father. Amen.
Instead of refusing to accept God’s will, especially when it is harsh, say, “Thy will be done!” Give yourself over to unbounded acceptance of the plan that has been mapped out for you by God.