Have you noticed that this journey on planet earth is an adventure? Just when you think that things are set, life throws you a curve and calls you to a challenge or a change. That’s what I am dealing with now. I are facing down some life-altering decisions in the upcoming months and those decisions that I have to make may lead me down a path I don’t want to walk.
I mean, we really, really don’t want to walk this particular path.
So yesterday, I prayed.
My prayer wasn’t casual. It wasn’t a “Lord-if-you-feel-like-it” prayer. It was a begging, heart-aching prayer. “Lord! Please don’t let this happen! Please, please don’t make me walk this path.” My words were filled with passion and my heart ached.
Just a few seconds after pouring out my prayer, I thought, “I know I should be more surrendered. And, as much as I want things to work out the way I desire, I know I don’t understand the whole picture. I don’t see the beginning from the end or what the Lord has in store.”
With this, I prayed again. “Lord, you know my heart. I really don’t want to walk this path. I really don’t want this to happen. But Lord, no matter what, I am here to serve you. I want to glorify you. I trust you and I surrender to you. It’s not what I want, but I will trust you for whatever you choose for my life.”
A quiet peace came into my heart at the recognition that He is Lord and I am not.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
This morning I gathered my Bible and journal in my quiet-time spot. While reading, I came across Matthew 25:39 when Jesus agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane right before His death. He did not want to suffer.
I immediately recognized that Jesus’ prayer looked a lot like mine. He prayed with passion. He called out to His Father and asked Him to give what He wanted. But then . . . He surrendered.
“My Father!” He said (with an exclamation point!) “If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me, yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” [NLT]
Jesus’ prayer was filled with ache and agony. He wanted God to give Him what He desired. But He still gave up to the Father who knew what was best and loved Him.
This is our model for prayer. Ask for what you want. Trust God for what He gives.
This is not easy. It involves laying down your life and believing that even though you cannot see what is ahead, that He knows the beginning from the end and will choose what is right for you and for His glory.
‘LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps’ (Jeremiah 10:23).