"He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, 'My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.'" Matthew 26:39 (NLT)
Today, someone will stand at a loved one's bedside begging the Lord for healing. They know He has the power and that His love is greater than theirs so they will pray with the faith that He will grant their request so that they might have more time with this person who means so much. Then, in a few days, they will stand near a casket and ask Him why He did not answer their prayer the way they wanted Him to.
When companies go through lay-offs employees ask God to protect their jobs so that they can continue to provide for their families. Yet, one day they show up to work and find a manager waiting to speak to them. They are ushered into a room and given the news that their job has been eliminated. Shaking their heads, they gather their personal items. As they walk out the front door they wonder why their prayer wasn't honored and they may even ask the Lord if He understands what this means and how their needs are going to be provided for.
When we fervently pray, laying our needs before our Father in Heaven, we are placing our faith and trust in Him to take care of whatever situation it is. But what we are really hoping for is that He will respond the way we want Him to. We know He can do all things and by making our requests known to Him we trust in our hearts that He will do what we feel needs to be done.
When Jesus was in the garden praying before His crucifixion, He too asked the Lord for another outcome. But, He knew that it was more important for His Father's will to be done than His.
Laying our own will aside and acknowledging that what really matters is that His will is done can be very difficult because we know that His will might very possibly differ from our own. We don't want to be led into unchartered territory. We don't want to say goodbye to someone we love. We don't want to have to wonder how our needs are going to be met tomorrow.
I understand. I have been the one begging for healing and my family has experienced times when our future has changed in an instant. Many times I have asked why.
Over the years I have learned that the Lord does not owe me an explanation. His will, and His reasons are far beyond what I would likely understand. However, His love for me remains fast and He continues to guide my way.
When we feel lost, for whatever reason, the best thing to do is to move closer to Him. We may never know why things happen the way they do but we know that He knows and we can be sure that whatever darkness we encounter cannot overpower His light.
Please understand that I am not dismissing the pain and suffering that can descend upon us in times of tragedy, turbulence or violence. I grasp the devastation that life can bring. But this one thing I do know and that is that the love of our Father exceeds anything that can happen on this orb and that we were created for eternity with Him. Today will fade away and there will be an end to earthly tomorrows. Soon there will be no more tears for those who believe in Jesus.
Hang on. Ask for His will to be done and trust that He will cradle us through any dark days we may traverse. May His grace and mercy enfold us all. God bless.