Thy will be done.

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

Prayer

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.

Lenten Action

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.

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2 responses to “Thy will be done.

  1. Jennifer Taylor

    Thanks for this post, Emily…..it was definitely something I have been needing to hear, too. I have been feeling so anxious about so many things recently and it was very freeing to say that prayer and be reminded that God is totally in control of my life. “Thy will be done!”

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  2. What is God’s Will – notice, I like to use capitals! I do not know. But here’s a true story. Not too long ago, I met a very beautiful Christian woman on the Internet. The attraction was mutual, we started chatting on a daily basis for almost a month. Some days, we chatted for hours. Then we decided to meet with every intention that if we really like each other as much as we thought we did, we will marry. Both of us are divorced.

    When we finally met each other, we did feel the same attraction. She wanted me to marry her and asked me repeatedly why I didn’t want to just go and apply for the marriage license. I told her I needed more time and told her how I felt about my ex and my children and the many things that happened that led to my divorce. Essentially, I have no contact with my children (all grown up and doing well) and that is something I cannot bear. They think I was not a good father and blame me for the divorce and if I remarried, I would lose them entirely – or so, I feared.

    Then we found out that there were other things – related to her divorce from her second husband which had to be sorted out. It was not clear that her ex no. 2 had actually filed for divorce. She simply left him and assumed that he would file for divorce as he had promised. The county, where we thought the divorce may have been filed, had no record of the divorce. Her ex was an alcoholic, did drugs, and so we thought he had reneged on his promise. Now, there was no way to get married, for at least 6-8 months (we consulted 4 divorce attornies, in 2 states), since she is not a US citizen and not a US resident. It took us more than two weeks to srot this out. She contacted her ex and pleaded with him to tell her what he had done. He was kind enough to respond to her emails. It turned out that he had actually filed for divorce but in a different county. The county records confirmed it too.

    Now, the road was clear for marriage but now I was having my own doubts. Do I really want to marry again? I am 60 and she is 52. After spending more than a month with her, during which time we had agreed that there will no sexual relations before marriage (which I honored entirely), I was no longer feeling the same way. Why did Jesus bring us together? This is what she kept asking Jesus. Before she came to meet me (remember she is not a US citizen), left her country and her family for me, she asked Jesus if this is the man for her. And, Jesus, said yes. He is the man for you.

    But, now this man was not there for her. What happened? I prayed and told her to tell Jesus, “Let thy will be done.” Let him guide us. Let him give us the strength to find the right path. She decided to stay with me and not return home to her family. She said, she will wait, until I am ready for her. And so, we are waiting. Let Thy Will be done.

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