With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment —to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” (Ephesians 1:8-10 NIV)
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.” (Matthew 26:39 NIV)
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9 NIV)
Expectations. As we become adults, we discover reality is often quite different from our expectations as a child. When we dwell on our expectations more than our reality, we become disappointed, sad, resentful, or even bitter with our actual life. When I was in my young 20’s, recently graduated from college, my expectations and reality collided. My desire was to be married – as all my friends were, and to become a mother. My reality – I was single – not married, a teacher – not a mother. I was disappointed, sad and depressed. My focus was wrong, my perspective needed changing. I remember a day when I wrote down all of my specific desires for a husband, I prayed about them, surrendered them to God, put them away in my Bible and submitted my possible future husband to the Creator and Author of my life.
Unfortunately, I have found myself having to do this time and again. I am someone who loves to be in control and have things work out exactly as I planned. I wanted blessings from God, on my terms, not on His terms. God did bless me with an incredible husband – several years later. He also blessed us with children – again after we had prayed and surrendered our desire to be parents to God. Then, we had a son with special needs – again, not the family we would have desired to have. But God used Joshua in our lives and in the lives of our family, and in the lives of many others. I discovered, when I yielded to God’s will, when I agreed with Him – that He knew best, when I trusted Him and simply did what He had put in front of me each day, God used Joshua to bring us joy, to show us what unconditional love looks like.
I think it is hard for us to pray as Jesus did in Gethsemane, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will,” Matthew 26:39. We want to be in control, we want our desires, our plans, our expectations fulfilled. But – God desires to bless us so we can be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:1-3). Listen to this song. Sing and pray these words to God. Surrender to him, submit to His perfect will to be made manifest in your life. Song: New Wine By Hill Song (Short Version)