By Pastor Kevin Barnhart
Spring Grove Evangelical Free
It’s 7 p.m. The chores are done, our baby is tucked in for the night, and our dogs lounge about snoring softly. Gathering up a few toys and clearing off a chair, my wife and I sit down at the small round table in our home. We light a candle and begin to read scripture. We are reading the Bible in a year. It can be challenging at times and yet God somehow always finds us there, in his Word. When we lay the Bible down, my wife and I take a moment to breathe Him in before we begin to pray. We pray almost every single night; some nights I confess we just fall to bed with a ragged and worn heart trusting that God hears our groans and captures our tears.
But the truth is, we start our nightly prayers early in the evening because it is a long list of people we are lifting up in prayer. So many people are hurting, facing cancer, difficult diagnoses, challenges in their lives, sorrows, loss, fear, stress, confessions, confusions, joys, blessings, treasures, questions…everyone is facing LIFE and we ourselves are not exempt. So, we talk to God. We lift up all we are and all we have, and we offer Him everything, holding nothing back, not our frustrations, not our fears, our thanksgiving, our desires, or our hopes, but with trembling hands we strive to eventually find the words “thy will be done”…
Fresh from Holy week, the words “Thy will be done” take on a desperately grave tone.
Jesus kneels before the Father praying thy will be done knowing that he will face horrific beatings, crushing pain, humiliation, desertion, and death on our cross. Nevertheless, “not thy will but thine be done” are our own Savior’s words.
Not always an easy prayer. In fact, this release of what we can’t control anyway can be rather challenging. Still, in Him and in His promises, we are set free. There is enormous power in this act of letting go. For as we let go of the death grip of our control, our fears, our anxieties, our contended wants; as we lay our burdens, lay ourselves at HIS feet we will be set free.
Did you worship this Holy week? Did you find time to seek out the Savior and remember Him? He came for you that very first Holy week so many thousands of years ago and in case you wondered, He is coming for your heart even now!
God shows up for us when he is beaten, broken, weary, betrayed, and struck down. He shows up when all, like sheep, have gone astray. God shows up.
Perhaps in our prayers, in our lives, in our hearts we will come to realize that the best will to be done is THY will. There we will find all the peace, hope, healing, life, freedom, forgiveness, salvation and resurrection our hearts could ever long for! Does that mean life will be easy? Not in the least, but it will be beautiful!
I can almost dream upon it, I can almost close my eyes and in our evening, prayers just begin to imagine what God will do with all our jagged, rugged, lost, lonely, seeking, searching broken pieces… and it is beautiful!
Easter has come and gone. The celebration was glorious. But please know that God will just keep showing up, on the hilltops and in the valleys. The only question is, will you?