"I'll have it Your way- no conditions!"

This is something I've been running around in my head for a while now, and it's a bit scary, really. Telling God, "no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the difficulty, no matter what the issue, I want it Your way, not mine." What I mean by this is to tell God, NO MATTER WHAT, Your will be done. Please, God, transform me into the most God-fearing, God-honoring, God-obeying woman I can be. Make my life please You. Whatever it takes. I take my hands off the steering wheel of control in my life.

Now this may sound run-of-the-mill mundane, kind of obvious to anyone who's read the Lord's prayer: "not my will but Yours be done"...but think of all that it could mean.
  • Could it mean a single woman remaining single, despite her own heart desire for a husband, because the way God intends to make her most like him is for her to remain single?
  • Could it mean quitting a job or starting a job, when that's not your desire, because God has something entirely different to do in you that can only be done by doing it His way?
  • Could it mean not "controlling" family size and seeing what God wants to do in your life by sharpening and softening you through more children than you initially would have requested?
  • Could it mean a life of barrenness despite a deep longing for children?
  • Could it mean a life away from familiar things, away from the friends and family you love?
  • Could it mean a total life transformation into a life of ministry?

I think it could mean one or all these things, and so many other things as well.

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE. Unconditional contentment. Not pain for pain's sake, but pain if that's what God's best is for you.

Look in the lives of these biblical examples and see what God's "best" looked like in their lives (imagine how you would feel your "rights" and your "reputation" trampled were you the one in each situation):

Moses- to not be raised by your birth mother, to never truly fit in with the people around you, to be put into leadership but have an obvious speaking problem
Hosea- marry a prostitute who repeatedly commits infidelity, lies, & humiliates you as her husband
Mary- to be shamed and dishonored as people thought you had conceived before you were married, to be potentially shamed in front of your intended spouse
Hannah- to be barren, taunted by peers because of your barrenness, and then to finally conceive but give up your child to be raised by others, only to see him once a year
Jonathan- to willingly give up the throne to your best friend, even though it's your dad who's King
Joseph- though you are very bright and have "received a word" from the Lord regarding a bright future, you are betrayed by family to be a servant, and thrown in jail despite a strict adherence to God's laws. Instead of being able to "stick it" to your family members who betrayed you, God's will is for you to be the means of their salvation.
Esther- to be a young virgin married to an old man with much experience with other women, a man who threw out his old wife (not much marital security), and a man who is a pagan- does not share your faith
Stephen- to be martyred at the "height" of his ministry career
Jacob- to be tricked into an undesirable marriage situation, have a family riff that haunts you for years
Esau- to always be listed and viewed as "second" to the man of God's choosing who seems nothing but evil to you
Sons of Zebedee- to never be the beloved disciple, to desire power and never attain it
Michal, Dinah- to be treated as property, traded, humiliated, with no respect by those who are claiming to do God's will
Jonah- to leave your comfort zone, deal with undesirable people, to watch people you hate be dealt with kindly while you feel God's discipline in your own life
Rachel- to be barren but loved above all others
Leah- to be fertile but never fully known or loved
Noah- to be ridiculed for years for doing something people (1) can't see any reason for, (2) don't support you in, and (3) try to talk you out of, despite your confidence that it is God's will and plan for you and your family
Paul- to be beaten, stoned, dragged, left for dead, essentially: to physically be hurt in all kinds of ways for God's plan to be meted out in your life
Ruth- to be widowed, leave your family, move to an unknown place, marry an old bachelor
Joseph- to be married to a woman that everyone in town thinks you dishonored, to never really be "dad" to a child who is not of your blood
And then, of course:
Jesus- Who lived the ultimate life of "Thy will be done."

But it's easy for us to dismiss Jesus, because He was perfect, right? But what about all these other imperfect people (and many others I didn't mention) who God chose to humiliate, curse with barrenness, and put in undesirable circumstances, all for the sake of 2 things:
(1) the greatest glory for God from their lives
and
(2) the greatest good in their lives.

Then I've got to ask myself, "do I want God to do whatever is necessary to receive the greatest amount of glory from my life and for me to have God's greatest good (even if that means pain, sorrow, rejection, humiliation) in my life? For God to not have to do what He wants despite my life choices- but instead, for God's plan to come about with me choosoing to submit myself fully to: WHATEVER YOU SAY, LORD- NO CONDITIONS!"

I don't know about you, but that is heavy stuff for me to consider- to take away whatever veil of control I think I have over my life and say- "Lord, be it babies or barrenness, being a wife or a widow, a life of pleasure or pain, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to make me into the woman You want me to be so I'm ready to meet You face to face- either at my death or at Your return."

Even having written all of this, I'm still not sure this is truly my heart's prayer yet. I hope it one day will be as natural and regular to me as my very breath.

1 comment:

Britt said...

This really hits home right about now (more than a year after you wrote this...lol). We have two daughter's (both were a surprise) and now that we're trying for another baby, it's just not happening. After four months, I've finally given it up to God...this post is a great reminder and encouragement to trust God and His plan for us. Thanks Jess!!