I read this prayer last week and I’ve been praying that I’ll mean it one day. Or maybe I do mean it some days, just don’t mean it everyday yet. Maybe I won’t even get there in this life. But I promise God that I’m willing to keep praying that I’ll be willing …. here’s the prayer:
“Lord, I am willing…
To receive what You give,
To lack what You withhold,
To relinquish what You take,
To suffer what You inflict,
To be what You require.”
Whew … even as I write it I realize how far I am from meaning it sometimes…. Saying to God that I am willing for all this to happen in my life is a far cry from what I sometimes feel like praying, which is “please God don’t allow that to happen to ME!” I know that I get all caught up in analyzing my feelings and trying so hard to be authentic that I overthink (probably not a word) all of this. I want to be able to live moment by moment praying this. I don’t need to worry about next year and if I’ll be willing to pray this then. I just need to be willing to pray it today!!
I remember this old gospel song that soloists would sing in church from time to time. Honestly even then, as a youth, I wondered how they sang that and meant it. I remember thinking that I couldn’t sing that song in front of people because I didn’t mean it. The name of it is “Whatever It Takes.” It goes like this:
There’s a voice calling me
From an old rugged tree
And He whispers “Draw closer to me,
Leave this world far behind
There are new heights to climb
And a new place in me you will find.”
Take the dearest things to me
If that’s how it must be
To draw me closer to thee
Let the disappointments come
Lonely days without the sun
If through sorrow more like you I become.
I’ll trade sunshine for rain
Comfort for pain
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes for my will to break
That’s what I’ll be willing to do.
I guess the newer version of the same thought is when we sing “blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering…” To be totally honest, some days I can sing this and some days I can’t…. so my prayer continues to be “Lord make me willing to be willing!” more today than yesterday.
I really, really want to be there – to trust Him with everything and know that He will never bring pain into my life that isn’t filtered through His great love for me!