Where there’s a Will
Matthew 6: 10
10 Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
An old boss of mine dined out for years on a story from a previous employment of his that involved visiting Liverpool for a few days every month, and his normal hotel during these visits was the Adelphi, a big posh former railway hotel near Lime Street station. As a regular customer he was known, and usually got a room at the front looking out over Liverpool. On one occasion he arrived to be told they were very busy and the only rooms available were on the inside overlooking the courtyard. He asked if there was any chance of an outside room but the clerk just shook his head saying there was nothing he could do, eventually my boss said “But surely where there’s a will..” but before he could finish the clerk, in broad scouse, cut in with “..there’s a relative!”. It was only two nights and he survived the restricted view.
What though of God’s will? Do we, like some, say your will be done through gritted teeth? With a sense of resignation and despair, our own desires and wants left out completely as we realise God is too powerful for us to do anything else, we accept we have no alternative and follow meekly to his will. That would be to utterly mistake what God wants in us when we submit to his will, for God is never one to insist the weak obey the strong just because they have no alternative, for if they do they do so with a deep resentment.
On the other hand and what God wants is for us to say “Thy will be done” willingly not because we have to but because we want to. We do so safe in the knowledge of two things about God.
Firstly the wisdom of God which far exceeds our own, God will never send us on a fool’s errand or on a wild goose chase. He will never lead us astray and if we stay with his will we will not go far wrong. By accepting God’s will we are in effect saying OK God you are the expert we will trust you.
Secondly God loves us. A friend of mine celebrated her fortieth birthday the other day and her mother posted a rather unflattering but very amusing photo of her taken many many years ago. Her response was “I thought you loved me!”, to which mum replied “Definitely do and this photo always reminds me of happy times spent with you”. She was not mocking her daughter and never would, so too God never mocks us he is not a capricious God. Everything he does he does for our good and if we follow his will we can be sure it will ultimately be for our benefit; God always wants the best for us.
Jesus, as he prayed in Gethsemane that Thursday evening, must have wanted to do anything other than accept that God’s will be done in the next several hours, yet he accepted that if the chalice of suffering was his by God’s will then drink it he would, because he knew his father loved him and through his obedience much would be achieved, so he accepted that ‘Your will be done’.
We all have a will, it is one of the many gifts God gives us, but by bending our will to his will together we can accomplish so much more than we could alone. It may seem difficult but when we see the love of God in action on the cross or in the love of rescuer at a disaster or the devotion of a nurse on a covid ward then we can say with confidence ‘Thy will be done’.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven, you must think us headstrong at times, you must wonder how we can be so foolish at times, but Lord be with us until we hear your voice again and help us, having heard, to accept your will and follow you.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,