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Thy will, not mine, be done

A delightful man in our congregation recently lost his wife suddenly.

Many people had been praying for her recovery. When she departed to be with the Lord during the night, her husband began to question God the next morning, “With so many good people praying for her, why was she taken?”

There is an answer, but I have found that most people do not want to have a theological discussion, nor is it an appropriate time for one. Comforting and encouraging a bereaved friend is our main goal. But God showed him the answer that Sunday morning when he was having a devotional time. He told me that if Jesus could pray, “Not my will, but thy will be done,” it was good enough for him.

During this time of self-quarantine during COVID-19, I am learning some very important things. I am also learning some very important things about myself. I know that God works in mysterious ways, and that God can take even bad things and turn them into good for those who love God and are called according to His ways (Romans 8:28). Perhaps that’s what God wants to use this period of the coronavirus to remind us. In times like these, people will notice someone who responds differently than the crowd. True faith is the thing that empowers us to respond differently. This is not to say we will not have anxious feelings or experience moments of doubt, but ultimately our response should be grounded in God’s promises.

Real faith believes God’s promises are more real than anything we can see or feel in this world, and that includes the coronavirus and empty shelves on the toilet paper aisle.

But what about social unrest? Racial rioting?

After the media reports of the tragic death of George Floyd, it seems that even the governor’s statement regarding the wearing of face masks has become old news.

I wondered what happened to social distancing when I saw the protests. And this is the big takeaway so far from this COVID period and what I have learned from it. There are things way beyond my control. And there are some things I need to give to God. How do we do that? By practicing what my grieving widower friend learned.

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that God would take away the cup that he was to drink of. That’s a poetic way of saying he was going to be faithful even though that faithfulness to God would lead him to the cross at Calvary.

But then he said, “Not my will, but thy will be done.”

I’m challenging myself to make that a daily habit. And I challenge you to do the same. In doing so, I find a peace, power and presence that enables me to get through each unpredictable day.

Thy will, not mine, be done.

REV. JOHN MOXLEY can be reached at jmoxleydillwyn@gmail.com.