I sat in a small prayer chapel this week in the silence and, looking up, saw this phrase etched into the crown molding at the front of the room. “Thy will be done.” As the passage goes…
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
As we forgive…
If “Thy will be done” precluded times of need and loss, times of betraying and being betrayed, it sure didn’t show in Jesus’ prayer. Notice, the part about God’s will being done is quickly followed by Jesus asking God to supply our needs, forgive our wrongdoings, and grant us the power to forgive those who are wrongdoers towards us. Perhaps Jesus knew that a life lived in a “Thy will be done” posture requires that we, in the same breath of submission, ask for His provision for the moments when the going gets rough.
Each of us have our areas of life where we’d much rather pray “My will be done” – those nagging, relentless, unbearable temptations or pains which cause us to want to throw in the towel on His will being done and just do our own will instead. Maybe we want to pretend we don’t know the right thing to do because the right thing is just too hard to do. Maybe we just don’t have the stamina anymore to carry the weight of obedience when the temptations are too strong.
What if, instead of beating ourselves up in these moments, shaming and guilting ourselves, we just took a breath? What if we just admitted our shortcomings to God? What might we hear? One time, in a moment like this, I heard Him say to me: “I have not come to steal from you.”
Steal from me? Suddenly I realized my hesitancy to follow the “Thy will be done” paradigm is a result of some underlying belief that God’s will or way is lack-luster in comparison for my own hopes and dreams for myself. It might be hard to believe if you’ve lost something or someone truly precious, but God isn’t a thief. There’s someone who steals from us, but it is not God. So trust him anyway, even when you have to say “thy will be done” through gritted teeth. Sometimes our obedience will be methodical. Sometimes we won’t feel that we trust Him, even as we choose to do so. But, nevertheless, let us damn our insubordination to the pits of hell by our words, if we have nothing else to give.
He gives good gifts, beloved, but it’s really okay to admit it when you think or feel otherwise. Wait for him to respond to your worn out heart. In the meantime, know that He isn’t a thief. He is a God who gives in the most peculiar, frustrating, and heartbreaking ways I have ever experienced. But yet, He gives.