For the past few months thoughts have been bouncing around in my head about God’s will for me. I figured it was time to move these thoughts from my head to the blog because doing this always helps me process things better.
I have been thinking about The Lord's Prayer - especially the line "thy will be done". I don't know how many times I have said The Lord’s Prayer during my life - probably more than I can count. I have just rattled it off as something I had memorized as a child. How many times have I prayed "thy will be done"?
Last week the sixth grade class at Rose Park gave presentations on Stations of the Cross. We traveled from station to station watching Christ's final hours. We began at the scene of Jesus praying on the Mount of Olives then continued on through scenes such as Jesus being arrested, Peter's denial and the guards mocking. There was also the scene where Jesus was brought before Pilates and Herod, the crucifixion and finally, his death.
I have heard these stories so many times before. I have heard the Easter story read to me as a child and read it myself in the bible as an adult. I think the older I get the easier it is to become numb to the powerfulness of this story. My mind skips ahead because I want to get to the happy ending.
The kids presentation hit me in a powerful way. With the exception of the ones who portrayed Jesus, everyone wore a black shirt. They were very solemn and had their heads hanging down when we entered and left the room. They also did this when it wasn’t their turn to speak. When they did speak, they were full of passion and made us believe that they were the character that they were portraying.
Like I said earlier, I have heard these stories so many times before but when I saw them acted out by these students I both heard and saw them in a new light. I tend to always look forward to the ending (although it is really not an “ending” at all!). Knowing that Jesus rose victoriously from the grave makes these stories easier to hear. The last scene we visited though was his death on the cross. We walked out of that room heavy and saddened.
I reflected back over the scenes. It was very strange to see m my sweet, soft-spoken Ashley look up at the cross where Jesus hung and hear her sneering the words “he saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One”. Every scene was powerful but my mind kept coming back to the one of Jesus praying on the Mount of Olives ~ specifically Luke 22:42 ~ "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
Those are some very difficult words to say. I have often said the first half ~ “God, please take this cancer from me” and I have also said “your will be done”. I am usually yelling the first part but when it comes to saying "Your will be done" it is typically more like a whisper. I don’t know if I have ever really said the middle phrase though “yet not my will”. I want to accept His will but I don't want to give up my own. I want to let Him know what my will is for my life ~ so He can make sure we are on the same page - the page that I wrote.
It has been and still is quite a process working through this. As always, typing this out has helped me work through it. When I put everything in perspective I am reminded that this this life is just a breath compared to the things yet to come.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1: 3-9