Pastor John's JourneysThis past week saw yet another devastating storm roll through the Midwest. These storms are terrible in the best of times; in tough economic times they are even more so. Sometimes it seems that those who are already down get hit again and again. It's enough to make us question God's goodness and plan. The proverbs tell of a God who blesses the faithful and curses the evil, but we often see just the opposite. Leonard Sweet, United Methodist Pastor and national speaker, suggests that we only ask these questions when our priorities and direction get out of alignment with God's. When “our” prayers and “our” agendas become the primary guide for our relationship with God we can see God as unresponsive or random.
Jesus stands as the ultimate example of this idea. Each and every one of his prayers was about God's will being done. Our fear of death stands at the center of our resistance to this idea. Even though our heads tell us about eternity in God's spirit, our guts turn on us when following God's will becomes hard, or threatens our comfort level. Our prayers for those facing health issues or dangerous situations are immediately about bodily healing and safe journeys. If our prayers were about God's will being done, we would not see death as the ultimate evil. Our prayers instead would be about God’s will being done in every situation. This would bring us more in alignment with God's perspective and allow us to make prayer requests that God is eager and ready to answer. May we endeavor even in the most difficult and terrible situations to pray like Jesus with beads of sweat rolling down our faces, "Not my will, but thine be done."