Your Will Be Done
A year ago, as we stood upon the precipice of 2020—who of us dreamed what a tumultuous year it would turn out to be? Between COVID-19, civil unrest, and contentious politics it has been a year unlike any in the lives of many of us. It could be that some of those in their 80s and 90s have experienced worse in the Great Depression or WWII, but for those even up into their 70s it would be difficult to name another more universally difficult year—a year, to quote Queen Elizabeth II, that is an annus horribilis. At the very least it has been life-altering for the majority of us.
Now we stand on the brink of 2021 with probably more uncertainty than we did last year at this time, just out of the fresh experience of all we went through this year. There are glimmers of hope for some, steep mountains to climb for others who have faced tremendous setbacks this year, and continued anxiety for those who feel the world has spun too far out of control to be righted. It is at times like these that we do realize the illusion of control we had in the past is just so much mist. Our level of anxiety in this life has a direct correlation to our feelings of control we sense in our world, so there are many who are feeling anxiety and depression like never before. However, if we can recognize our factual lack of control while accepting that our good and loving God is firmly in control, our anxiety will diminish.
As we release our striving, our temporal hopes, our selfish desires, our primal fears, and our willful demands into His hands acknowledging His wisdom, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, power, and love in all He wills and does, we can find the kind of peace Jesus did when, even facing death, He could say, “Not my will but Yours be done.” And in the midst of His agony for us He could entrust His spirit into the hands of His loving Father—the same Father whose will it was that He suffer and die for us. He demonstrated that we can fully surrender and trust, even when we are suffering according to the will of God.
The song we are contemplating today is such a wonderful prayer of trust, surrender, and faith. It points us to Jesus as our example in this blessed trust. Such an act of heart, mind, and willing obedience is an expression of praise. It displays faith in God’s wisdom in His unsearchable ways. It shows we believe in His love and goodness, even when He is leading us through uncertain and difficult paths. It acknowledges our truth and dependence upon His power to see us through. When we flee to Him in as our Refuge in difficulty instead of hardening and turning from Him it reveals to the watching temporal and spiritual worlds what a worthy God we believe Him to be. Our hope in Him as our faithful Father and our reverent fear and obedience to Him as our sovereign Lord shines through for all to see.
The heart of rebellion in mankind from the beginning has been our desire to do our own will, not His. But the true rest and peace comes when we gratefully and willingly lay aside our own will, acknowledging His ways are best—they are higher and deeper and beyond our ability to comprehend, and they are meant for our ultimate good and His glory. It is reassuring for us to remember that He never demands His glory at the expense of our good; He achieves both in all His righteous acts. I hope you will follow the link to this song and play it over several times until the words become your prayer of praise, surrender, and faith.