I had asked a young person in our home, whose name shall not be named, to do her laundry. I knew in the back of my mind, however, this concept was somewhat foreign to her. The countless times I have shown her how to sort clothes, start the machine, add detergent, and those new scent things that look like Nerds candy, had not computed. It’s possible when one saves her dirty laundry for several weeks, and occasionally stands in the hamper to push down the pile, may forget how to do this chore.
Let’s just say she had several loads of laundry, and was hoping the Laundry Fairy would make an appearance and spread her magic cleaning dust around.
This didn’t happen.
I sent a text message that morning reminding said child that her laundry needed to be started by the time I returned home at Noon. I came home to see clothes loaded in the washer. Score. We are getting somewhere. And a full cup of fabric softener ready to be poured into the detergent compartment. Dear, sweet, child of mine.
I called, well yelled, for her to bust a move a to the laundry room. After a quick tutorial on fabric softener versus detergent, and some eye rolling from said child, I said, and did, the one thing I had tried so hard not to do.
“Just go. I will do it. “
If I had a dime for every time I’ve made that statement….well, I would be able to pay someone else to do the laundry.
How many times have you found yourself in a similar situation? How many times today have you had the thought that you can do something better, and in less time, than someone else?
On a much deeper and spiritual level I find myself telling this to God quite often. I pray, I ask, I lay my requests before Him daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Then I get off my knees, pick up the requests I just laid down, hold them tightly, and walk away. Okay, maybe not just like that, but I hope you see my point. I have a tendency to ask God for things, get impatient that He’s not answering my requests quickly enough, or in the manner I would like. I lose trust, and in my selfishness and frustration think I can fix things better than He can.
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV
I memorized this pray from a young age, but as with many words in scripture, I didn’t really take the time to understand what I read, memorized, and spoke, until I was much older. There is one line tucked in these most beautiful words that scares the living daylights out of me. Sometimes when I recite these words, I stutter over this part.
Your will be done.
The magnitude of what I’m saying hits me. Your will be done. Do I really mean that? Do I really trust God with these requests? Do I believe He is for me and not against me? Do I believe in His goodness?
There is one thing I’ve concluded for myself through studying prayer. I personally believe all the answers we seek through prayer hinge on this one line. Thy will be done. If I believe God is who He says He is, and that I am absolutely not God, then yes, it is the answer to every prayer request I lay before Him.
This thought track can go two distinctly different ways. One, we can rest in the assuredness that God is God, and know that His will for us is the best. Or two, we can question why we should even pray, wonder if there is anything to hope for in our personal prayers and requests. I encourage you to study the scriptures and seek these answers for yourself.
I will leave you with this encouragement, though. God’s ways may seem mysterious sometimes, but He has given us brilliant minds to think, and the tools of scripture to ponder.
“Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.” Romans 8:25-27
Thank you, Lord, for sending your Spirit to help me communicate my requests to the Father. Help me to know God’s will for my life is better than mine.