But As You Will…

A familiar line from Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. “Not as I will, but as You will.” Mark Dricoll preached a very moving sermon on this prayer. (the sermon will be here soon) It led me to think about blogging, which I haven’t done in a while because life hurts too much to dig too deep.

I’ve always been a prayer. I love talking to Jesus, and when walking through pain, I discovered how refreshing it is to be able to offer up everything to Jesus. Most of the time it’s prayer for other people, but frequently there will be the desperate, “Jesus, I’m at the end of my rope with life, show me how to survive.” And of course there’s the “God, please let ______ happen.”

As Mark pointed out, Jesus’ prayer in the garden is his human plea to escape what was coming. He knew he would be brutally tortured and eventually killed for the sins of the world. Since he was fully man, he wasn’t going to feel it any less or somehow escape from the body until it was over–no, he had to suffer through it like any common criminal. So he prayed desperately to the Father.

If there’s any way you can save the earth without making me go through this, I would really like that. Really a lot.

But the prayer didn’t end there. The “but not as I will, but as You will” line wrapped up his desperate plea. Even though it will be tough. Even though I’ll hate it, if it is Your plan for me, Father, I’ll do it. That’s what that line is all about. That line should be in our  prayers, too, and we should really mean it.

One of the hard things about praying that, for me, is that first of all, I’m actually putting the whole situation in God’s hands. In life it’s so easy for us to think we know what’s best for ourselves. Let’s face it. Our entire lives revolve around keeping #1 in the best position possible, never getting hurt, and having a good life. After years of self-preservation we think we know pretty well how things should or should not go. After milleniums of loving people and directing their lives, I think God knows better. The other great thing about acknowledging God has control is that God loves us, so he’ll do what’s best for us, but he’s also all-powerful, so he can do what’s best.

The other day I took my friend’s dog to a BBQ and she saw an ant. She was so entranced by the ant she watched it as it walked around the pavement, behind a shoe, under a table, she was so glued to it. Eventually I told her she could go see it. I knew what she’d do. She’d eat it. But I didn’t love the ant so I didn’t really care if it got eaten. (yes, she did eat the ant). Not so with God. God actually loves us so much that he sent Jesus to save us. That’s the greatest sacrifice ever, sending your son to die for people who did nothing to deserve it?? That’s love. And that love directs the way He plans our future, only wanting the best for us.

A couple of days ago I called a friend who had just gotten back from camp. I asked her how it went, and she said it was great except for these few people and went on to tell me how one guy had really hurt her emotionally. I would have given anything to have gone up to the guy and punched him in the face. (good thing for him he lives on the other side of the US) But I’m not able to do anything, I can’t control people’s words, motives, actions, so I couldn’t have made it better even if I had been there. God can. He’s everywhere and can do anything. How cool. Not only does he love us so much that he wants a productive and fruitful life for us, but he can also make it happen!

That’s what happens when you submit your situation to God’s ultimate authority. Not that he needs us to say “ok God, I’m giving it to you” before he is able to take control. But surrendering your situation works on YOUR heart.  And there’s a difference between saying “I surrender” and actually doing it.

The moving to Alabama scare really shook my life up. Nothing was firm after that, all my plans could be washed out the window at any second. I knew it should be easy for me to accept it. I had an epiphany a few years ago that God always knows what’s best. “I surrendered my life to Jesus last year” so why was this so hard?

Answer: I hadn’t REALLY submitted. I again fought over the emotions related to surrender. “NO God, I can’t move, it ruins everything.” (by the way, don’t ever say no to God…baaaad idea) “If you really cared about me, you wouldn’t make me move since I know I wouldn’t be as happy there” (Oh, since I know so much more than God…riiiight) So once again I pushed and pushed until I gave in.

So why all the random ramblings? I dunno. Just my thoughts on surrender. I think I’ll be due for another “lesson” in a few months. Seems that I learn to give up EVERYTHING to Jesus, and then I slip back into my comfortable routine of planning everything the way I know it will be best. I can imagine God laughing at me and my feeble attempts to have a good life because he doesn’t want me to have a good life–he wants me to have an awesome life which will only happen when HE guides it.


August 4, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Church, Lessons from God.


  1. Hepzibah Hastings replied:

    I am up lifted by your site here! I am inspired to keep going. Thank you.

  2. peggy rickard replied:

    I need an answer from JESUS. I still hurt so much and it wont get better unless the Lord does something. I need an answer soon or I may as well leave and put every one behind and bury mself in something new. My life is being wasted. I want life. I will not beg them to show me love. Just give me an answer in prayer, by an angel, or a Christian, in the mail, on the computer by phone or some way that I know you are working on this. I cant stand the hurt and not knowing

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