Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Your will be done

Those four words might be the hardest words for my mouth to form, because, together, in that statement, those words take on a greater sum than their individual parts. To give up one’s will for another is a great task, it is nearly impossible. To lay aside all that you want, all that you desire, to willingly lay down your rights, your plans, is hard. But that statement means more than just laying those things down, it really says that you lay yourself down, your life, your breath, your being. Because to give your will to another, to succumb to their will you must give up all that you are to become all that they will you to be.

And it isn’t easy giving up your will, laying aside something that is so important and precious to you. Ask the parents of a dying child, ask the young couple who aches for a baby, ask the friends of someone trapped in addiction, ask the lonely woman or man who just wants someone to love them. Laying aside your will for another’s is seeped in pain; it is the evidence of the action, the depth of the commitment. For what we want the most, what we long for the most are also the things that are asked of us when we lay aside our will. The small things in life are easy to give up, to lay down, but the big things, the things we hide away inside, the dreams, the longings, the hope, those are what we are called to lay down as we take another’s will.

Jesus gives us the most amazing and haunting scene of laying down one’s will. Three of the gospels chronicle this scene.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Matthew 26: 36-44

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
Mark 14:32-36

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Luke 22: 39-44

These scriptures don’t need commentary. They speak volumes more than my measly words could begin to say.

Want to know a modern day miracle? The pacemaker. Technology that is able to change the beating heart, to correct and control the muscle that is life to us. Amazing, really, when you think about it. A device, implanted into the body, that slowly but surely alters the rhythm of a heart and changes it from one rhythm to another. But pacemakers aren’t an instantaneous fix. They become part of the person, they are enveloped into their body, and are always at work to regulate and synchronize the heartbeat.

In the same way, God changes our hearts. Much like a pacemaker in a heart, He begins to harmonize our heartbeat to His rhythm. Slowly but surely with each beat it begins to take on the steady, solid thump thump of His will. And also as with the pacemaker, there is a lifetime of harmonization. Because for every time our will flares up, and our heart beat begins to thump at our own pace, He steps in and slowly brings it back to His rhythm. But we must submit to Him, we must not fight the pacemaker, for if we do then our heart is beating without a rhythm, it speeds up, it slows down, there is no constant beat, nothing to keep it steady, fixed, and harmonious with Him.

There is also pain as a pacemaker goes to work. It is altering the heart, changing it, so discomfort is a given. But pain is the evidence of change, it is the physical reminder that your heart is still beating, that life is still being lived, and that through this machine your heart has a new cadence. In the same way, when God begins to alter our heartbeat, to change it to His rhythm there is discomfort, there is pain. But that pain is necessary for us to harmonize with Him, for without the pain we are left beating to our own rhythm, out of harmony with His will, alone.

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Psalm 37: 4-7

God says He will give us the desires of our heart, but He also calls us to lay down our will for His. So where does this leave me. I want what I want, but He wants me to want what He wants. So I’m back at the cross deciding whose will I want. Do I lay my will down and pick up my cross and follow or do I hold onto my will, my way, and turn my back and go. Because that is the choice we face, that is where we all end up. Everyday, I seem to end up back at the cross and everyday I struggle with the same decision over and over again. Giving up your will isn’t a once and for all thing, it is a daily choice you have to make, an hourly choice, a minute by minute laying down of my will for one that is greater.

So when the two truths of “your will be done” and “He will give you the desires of your heart” meet we have harmony, beautiful melodious harmonies. For our hearts are in rhythm with Him when we lay down our will and take up His. And when we submit to His will, when our hearts beat with His, He will give us all the desires our hearts.

In all honesty, I can type these words but living them is a whole different story. This is a struggle, a daily struggle. I like my will, I would probably rather God bend to my will, but the Lord of Creation, the All Mighty God, bends His will to no one. My heart is His, so His will is mine. This is the story of my life; simply, this is what living for Christ means to me.

17 Comments:

Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

wow. This post is alot better than the last one! I LOVED reading it, and especially reading the verses you selected from Psalm 37. It was beautiful. What a struggle it is for us, and yet, how perfect His will is for us.

I sure am ready for heaven. No more struggles, no more tears.

1/10/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Katie-

You are the Max Lucado of women. I am never disappointed. The Lord has truly given you a gift of words and speaks through your willing mind and fingers daily.

Amen.

1/10/2006 3:17 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

WOW.

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOOOOOOOOW!

"But pain is the evidence of change... But that pain is necessary for us to harmonize with Him, for without the pain we are left beating to our own rhythm, out of harmony with His will, alone."

WOW!

Those could only be the words of my extremely wise, sincere, beautiful, amazing friend Katie who missed her calling a C.S. Lewis's sidekick.

Wow!

This... is going to take me some time. I am IN LOVE with this post, and I'm going to return back to it 20 more times, read and re-read some more, and then I will ultimately just tell you some more how amazing I think it is.

But I will say this right now: I wholeheartedly agree. Dying daily to our flesh is no easy task, and sometimes isn't always done. That's why we sometimes stray from our paths, because we think our way is better - until we find ourselves lost in the woods crying out for our Father to come get us and lead us back to the right road.

Thanks Katie for yet another truly inspirational, thought-provoking post from the heart.

1/10/2006 3:18 PM  
Blogger jes said...

katie! well done! well said! and how do you do it?

perhaps when you quit this springish summer, you should consider getting a book deal. and then you could sit in a log cabin in the mountains with the fire roaring and a flannel blanket wrapped around you, puffing on your pipe and pecking at your typewriter and kicking wadded pieces of paper from under your feet.

except it wouldn't a typewriter, it's be a computer.

and i'm pretty sure you wouldn't have a pipe, either.

1/10/2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

She might have a pipe.

lol

1/10/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

THAT would be a sight: Katie with a smoking pipe hanging from her face. hahaha!

1/10/2006 3:26 PM  
Blogger Logan Bennett said...

Katie,
It really is hard to lay down your dreams for something else. I layed my snowboarding carrer down to do God's work, and it has been good. Although I could have gotten a lot of fame and fortune from the snowboarding

1/10/2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Very eloquent, Katie, and something that we probably all need to be reminded of daily. The struggle to lay down my own will is overwhelming at times, but well worth it when I achieve those "beautiful, melodious harmonies" you spoke of.

1/10/2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger jes said...

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? And why must I be so anal? perhaps I should just stop typing and speaking and thinking in contractions.

i didn't mean "it's be a computer."

i meant "it'd be a computer." as in, "it would be a computer."

1/10/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger bianca said...

Katie-
I don't have to tell you how right you are, I know you know it!
God is teaching me so much about living for His will and having His desires, rather than living for my own. Letting go of something I want or have wanted for so long is very hard, but trusting God to give me the best is sometimes even harder!
It's a process...being sanctified!

1/10/2006 4:00 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks guys for all your kind words.

No pipe, sorry. That would be an interesting site. Would I needs one of those smoker's jackets and some slippers?

I'm happy with my computer and my closet/office.

1/10/2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger green said...

That was amazing. Well written and very profound. Even better because it was from the heart.

The struggle is mighty in our eyes but in His eyes it is not. It's His way or no way. Hard to accept but all the better because it's a lofty goal to strive for - every day. And what rewards await us n heaven...

I can't wait for that...

1/10/2006 5:54 PM  
Blogger Aim Claim said...

Great post... thanks for keeping your promise. It was worth it.

I love the pacemaker parallel. How awesome is it that he is in my heart, keeping me alive even when I can't, harmonizing with me... what beautiful harmony it is!

1/11/2006 7:05 AM  
Blogger Shenna said...

You know what I love? I love to see how he blesses us, after his will has been done.

I feel miracles are done every day, yet we are blind to them and don't see them, just as they ignored them in the old testament! I've been reading 90 minutes in heaven, about a pastor who literally died and went to heaven and came back. Sounds fishy, I know, but don't judge the book until you read it. That is an incredible miracle.

God is working in and through you Katie. It's so good to see!

1/11/2006 8:40 AM  
Blogger BlondGirl said...

Awesome stuff, Katie. You only used the word once - submit. Submission, the word Christian women fear and despise the world over, is truly what it's all about.

To submit means to yield or surrender yourself to the will or authority of another, in this case, the will and authority of our Father, who only has "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," as Jer. 29:11 tells us.

Thanks once again!

1/11/2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

This reminds me of the Michael W. Smith version of the Lord's prayer. It was just going through my head, and just the thought of Jesus Himself saying THY will be done, it is such an example of us as how we are to turn everything over to the Father. If the Creator Himself did, how much more should we. You still got me thinkin' K-T.

1/11/2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

couple who aches for a baby

13 years next month.

Katie thank you for writing this. Even with all this waiting, I still must stuggle constantly to lay down my own selfish desires. Dying to myself every single day is so difficult.

You are amazing. Keep on, sweet girl!

1/11/2006 8:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home