Have you ever gotten your way and realized your way wasn’t best? Have you ever pushed your point, only to see in the end you were wrong? It’s humbling to come face to face with the fact you don’t have this whole thing figured out.
There have been times in my life when I acted like a bull in a china cabinet. I was raging and running, and causing a mess in my wake. My intentions weren’t to hurt anyone, I just thought I knew best as I plowed through everything in my way. Now with a few more years under my belt, I understand what we are to plow through are our own excuses, not people, not warning signs, and not God’s will.
We always have our own free will. That’s how life gets messed up.
God has a beautiful plan for your life. A plan that accounts for all that currently is and takes you right to where he wants you to be, but that plan is susceptible to your free will. You’re not a robot. You’re free to come and go. Free to mess up, screw up, fall down and stay down. God doesn’t interfere with your free will, however he is forever offering you a way back to his.
What would a fully surrendered life to God’s way look like? Where could he take you? What could he do?
I honestly don’t know, but here’s what I do know … it would be better than anything I could work up on my own.
Right now, you’re imagining a scenario for your future that you believe would be best. Your summer plans wouldn’t be cancelled. Your job would continue and your finances would be secure. Within a few weeks you could hit up the TJ Maxx and max the heck out of your shopping experience cause Lord knows you’ve been missing wandering those isles! The kids would go back to school and you could go back to a world where you’re not forced to play teacher/principle/counselor/coach/cafeteria manager and janitor. The whole family would go back to their regularly scheduled days and you would be happy.
Right. Until it all became normal again. Until it was no longer happy.
You know what’s funny is, the very things we’re so desperate to get back to are the same things a whole lot of us were dreading and complaining about in February.
Hey fellow bull in the china cabinet, running, raging and rushing, CHILL THE HECK OUT FOR JUST A MINUTE. Let’s not mess this up. Let’s not cause a bigger mess.
Imagine for just a moment God actually knows what he’s doing.
Really. Imagine that.
Imagine he sees the bigger picture and he knows exactly where this crazy jacked up piece you’re stressing over right now goes. It all fits together. I mean it would if you would quit coming in and clearing the table. It would if you would quit throwing your hissy fits and full grown woman tantrums. It would if you would surrender, take a breath, step back for a moment and get some perspective.
What if your ideas for the future are good, but God has something better? What if that better plan means more things change and more time is required? What if that means this touches your precious summer? Would you still want God’s plans over your own?
This is truly a moment of reckoning. Whew, God is stretching me ya’ll because I had big plans for this summer. And in my head those are ridiculously good plans.
I had a retreat in a mountain mansion in the Smoky Mountains. I had a move out date in 2 weeks from our little loft in Missouri, and a plan to buy a house in Texas, fix it up like a doll house and put it on AirBnB for fellow adventurers. I had climbing the Rocky Mountains and whitewater rafting adventures planned for 2 retreats in Colorado. I had an entire month planned in California, surfing with my boy, beach sunsets with my husband, an awesome wedding on a yacht, then 3 more retreats in Northern California hiking the coastal trail, biking the redwood forest, and bonfires on the beach.
I mean come on, those are awesome plans! I want it all to happen. In my head there couldn’t possibly be a better plan than the one I have written.
I bet you feel the same way. You want what you want. Your plans seem a whole lot better than quarantine plans. And the thought of it all being cancelled, rearranged and ruined makes you twitch a little. Like you’re fighting back the hissy fit now. The full grown woman tantrum is building up inside of you at this moment.
AND GOD SAYS, “TRUST ME.”
Trust me when your good plans are threatened. Trust me when you don’t know how it will all work out. Trust me when the way is still unknown, the future is uncertain and you feel unable. Trust me when you’re frustrated. Trust me when you’re scared. Just trust me.
Psalm 37:3 “Trust in the Lord and do good …”
I have a little saying that sure helps me in times like these. Your way Yahweh.
Yahweh is another name used for God in the Bible. Yahweh has a way and it’s better than your way.
Now again, I know your way seemed really good. In your head secure jobs, normal routines, summer vacations and freedom to go to the TJ Maxx again sound freaking delightful. But Yahweh has a way, and sometimes it’s different than our way. And Yahweh’s way is always better than our way.
So Father, not my will, but yours.
Oh wait, aren’t those words we just read? Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Why yes, those are the words of Jesus. The words of Jesus when he faced a harsh reality he thought maybe there could be another way around. He knew what God was calling him to … the Cross was ahead. The brutal beating and torture. The shame and agony. The bearing of all our burdens and all our sins which would crush him. And in a moment of desperation Jesus prays …
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
This is surrender. This is what we are called to.
God, I don’t like what I see here. I really wanted my plans and my way. If you are willing to come in and save us from all of this mess right now, that’s what I want. I want it to go back to normal. I want this to end.
YOUR WAY YAHWEH. If you are willing to do it my way, that would be great, but your will be done Father. Not my will, but yours.
Jesus showed us how to pray this prayer of surrender. He showed us how to accept a plan of immediate sacrifice for a future of ultimate victory.
What happened after Jesus prayed this prayer? Luke 22:43 says “an angel of heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.”
God gives us strength when we surrender. He provides exactly what we need to walk the best path ahead.
So here we are with all our good plans that we straight up don’t want to give up. Hopes and dreams for the coming months we don’t want to cancel. Ideas of what would be best and a hope that God would make it happen.
But above all that, we have a prayer. A prayer of Your Way Yahweh. A surrender to the Almighty for his will, his way, his timing. And my guess is at some point in the future we will look back and see, maybe our way would have never been better after all.
Your way Yahweh.