One of my dear friends is about to give birth to her baby any day now. She has had a challenging pregnancy, complicated by the fact that she has been living in one of the hottest states in our country. There have been numerous family and job related struggles in recent months. She and her husband are still in the swirling sea of transition, having only landed in their current home two years ago, while spending the recent months preparing for their first child’s arrival. And they are going to be moving out of state at some point this summer.
All these circumstances feel justifiably enough to cause my friend to panic, or at the very least, complain and fret and whine a bit. Yet, this isn’t what she is choosing. I see her living “the prayer that never fails,” as Father Tim says.
Whether she is saying it or not, her heart posture is one that says, “Thy will be done.”
Her hands are open.
Her heart is trusting and surrendered.
She is saying yes to Jesus over and over and over again.
Would she prefer to have spent her pregnancy in a state without the threat of Zika? Of course.
Would she have chosen to have a newborn in tow as she moves in a matter of weeks? Probably not.
Would she have picked easy over hard? In a heartbeat.
But that wasn’t her choice. Her choice wasn’t mosquitoes or no mosquitoes. Her choice wasn’t between easy or hard. Her choice was whether or not she would trust her story to Jesus.
I know this choice hasn’t been without its share of hot mess days or tears; its doubts or desperate prayers. But like the parable of the two sons, I think the Lord doesn’t just look at what we say, but what we do. And as I read the letter from her in my inbox this week, I could feel her heart fully surrendered to the Lord.
I know her specifics aren’t my specifics.
But there is something so beautiful and deeply relatable as I see her courage to be faithful to trust the Lord with what he has given her. So often I think I am no longer relatable to my friends in school because I am now a mom; or to my single friends because I am married; or no longer relatable to this group of people because I am in a new and different season.
But the truth is that when we are following Jesus, our specifics may be different, but the tension between living for ourselves and living for Jesus is the same.
I am so grateful for my friend’s quiet courage, her faithfulness in the unseen times with the Lord, her commitment over and over again to say, “thy will be done.” It cheers me on in today in my own specifics; being calm and consistent in parenting, doing my part to resolve a messy interpersonal conflict, the heartache of being far from family and the repetitive service of dishes & laundry.
My hard is not her hard, but it is still hard.
And Jesus still asks me, as he does all of us, to open our hands and pray the prayer that never fails: thy will be done.
Had they chosen for themselves, or their friends chosen for them, they would have chosen otherwise. They would have been brighter here but less glorious in His kingdom. They would have had Lot’s portion, not Abraham’s.
It was good to suffer here, that they might reign hereafter; to bear the cross below, for they shall wear the crown above; and that not their will but His was done on them and in them.
Streams in the Desert, October 17