I was on a walk the other day when I had an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness overcome me.It was thankfulness for how I am now able to see life. I see it with a different set of lenses. I think bigger picture. Eternally. The sweet moments hold more sweetness. The small worries don't carry as much weight. And my heart of gratitude for my blessings has increased ten fold.
Then I stopped in my tracks and looked up to the sky and had a very honest moment.
"I had to lose way too much to gain this perspective."
My heart of thankfulness feels torn between the blessing of what I've gained but the sorrow for what was lost in order to gain it.
I had a thought the other day that most of my life I prayed the easy kind of prayers. I prayed for all of the good things I wanted. I prayed for security. I prayed for safety. I prayed for the health of my family. None of those things in and of themselves are bad things. But the thought occurred to me, if God had given me everything I prayed for, it would have been the worst answer He could have given to my heartfelt prayers.
The night before His crucifixion Jesus was in a garden talking to God. He knew what He was about to endure. He was in complete and utter anguish because of it. He told His disciples His soul was "overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" (Matthew 26:38) Hour upon hour He spoke to God and asked for the cup to pass from Him. He asked if there could be another way. Any other way. He has Gods heart more than anyone else. He is Gods son. And here you see a son pleading with a Daddy to spare Him from death in the worst way imaginable. And don't for a moment think His Father wasn't heartbroken for what his son was about to endure. After hours of wrestling with what was to come, something in Jesus' prayers changed.
A small silence is broken and He utters the words that change the entire narrative:
Yet not as I will, but as You will.
He wasn't shy in telling God He didn't want to endure what He was set to endure. He was, after all, God in the form of a human. Our human nature tends to shy away from pain, not run towards it.
But in the end He surrendered His will to Gods greater purpose.
Can you imagine how the story would've changed if God swooped in to save the day? Certainly He could have. But Jesus willingness to face what was set before Him changed the entire course of history. His sacrifice changed death forever. That's not how the story started but my what an ending.
If given the choice to have an amazing perspective of life, or my husband back, of course I would choose the latter. No one would ever willingly pray for calamity to come upon them just for a perspective change. That's crazy. The truth is God did not answer my prayer in the way I hoped, cried out, and believed for. But the way He did answer it has built within me more strength, grit, humility, honesty, care, and compassion than I could've ever hoped for. It changed the course of our families life, and the way we will live our lives, forever.
Most importantly it has changed the way I pray. Of course there's still things I pray and ask God for. I still ask for protection. I still ask for the health of my family. I still ask for the things I desire. But it goes through a filter now. The filter is "His will".
Because through this experience there's nothing I trust more now than His heart. I trust His will for me. I trust His will for my family. I trust in His purpose for our lives. I trust in it more than my own wants. I trust in it more than my own plans. It doesn't mean I always understand it, but I trust it.
In the end His purpose will be fulfilled greater than we imagined. If we didn't get what we asked it's because He longs to give us more. Every one of us. For the one who sees the beginning from the end is the same one who holds us in the palm of His hand.
While at times it has seemed like I was in a garden begging Him for an ending that never came. It will also mean a different ending, I never saw coming. All for His glory. All for our good.
All for a story, and a purpose. His kingdom come His will be done.
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