I've found myself, throughout life, and especially with respect to a recent situation, wanting and trying to make my will into God's will, rather than the other way around.. even when I'm praying about the strength, guidance, etc. to follow His will, its hard to do so when you ignore His answers in favor of what you want His answers to be. I so badly wanted this to be His will and I focused so heavily on doing everything I could do to make that happen.. rather than giving it up to Him, like He continually instructed me to do. ultimately, I was just prolonging the inevitable.
about a week and a half ago now, during Wed. night youth worship, we were playing "From the Inside Out".. I've sang that song a thousand times (for those of you who know the song, the pun was definitely intended haha) but it never really hit me like it did that night. I guess, in some respects, I was going through the motions on that song as well. But on this night, I was singing harmonies and we got to the line "your will above all else, my purpose remains. the art of losing myself, in bringing your praise.." and I had to step away from the mic because I honestly couldn't sing those words because I knew it hadn't been true in my own life for some time, especially with respect to certain situations, like I said. for the rest of the service and the days to come, I really focused on that becoming my prayer.. allowing God's will to be my purpose above all else, regardless of how difficult it might be to accept.. He's known best all along. I can look back at situations in my life that were even much more difficult and much harder to see the silver lining in.. yet, He's always known best. He's brought me through all of it because eventually, I trusted Him with all those situations. So, why not do it sooner? That became my focus. His will, regardless.
from that, God began working on my life, giving me a much greater peace in the midst of a difficult situation to understand. I still don't necessarily understand why things never really worked out the way I hoped they would have, but I trust that God has a very legitimate reason and I'm trusting Him for that.
this Thursday night though was put into overdrive with God revealing a proper perspective on life in general to me. Bro. Dickie spoke on Ecclesiastes 1, which focuses on "everything is meaningless.. there is nothing new under the sun.." Picking songs for such a sermon led to "I Will Rise" (there's a peace I've come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail, there's an anchor for my soul, I can say it is well), "Rescue" (this world has nothing for me, I will follow You), and "Honestly" (honestly I'm figuring out that of all that I have, all that I need is you).. (side note: apparently Carl Cartee never had an English lesson on not using the word "that" in a sentence.. look at that (lol) last line again.. wow.. 3 that's..) ...anywho... those songs in and of themselves, along with the message, were humbling enough already to really put me in a proper place..
but then a group of us went by Doug Goudeau's house afterward.. this man has been so faithful in our church for several years, was extremely involved in Scouts,.. always full of energy and life and never missed a Sunday if he could help it. Mr. Doug was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and has been on a long downward spiral ever since. long story short, the night before he was able to leave the hospital and come home to be under hospice care (i.e., to die peacefully in his own home).. I went over there with the rest of the group as moral support for the family, but I never was that close to Mr. Doug or anything so I honestly didn't feel like it'd be that tough on me. I also can't remember the last time (before then) that I've genuinely cried over a situation....
but I started bawling and I honestly couldn't help it. I felt so heartbroken over the situation, not only because I saw the faith and resolve his family and his kids still had despite the situation, but it was also such a stark reminder of how petty the stresses in my life really are.. here there father is holding onto every last breath he possibly can, yet they're remaining faithful and here i am worrying about petty things and getting frustrated with God over things not working out the way I wanted them to. it was just a very humbling reality check.. a much needed refresher of perspective on everything in life. I'm constantly reminded (by this situation, the Chaz Wilburn situation a few years back, and others) of the faith that people have despite their crappy situation.. these people are far less fortunate than I am, yet they are so blessed because they are so faithful. Its a really selfish feeling when you finally realize that whats been on your mind the past week they'd give a million dollars to have that easy of a week, yet they deal with the hand they've been dealt, rely on God and follow Him.. regardless.
God, help those words to be true in my life.. that I can honestly say "Your will above all else, my purpose remains." Help me to trust You.. to serve You.. to follow You wherever You may lead, however difficult it may be to accept, however unclear it might be at the time.. to follow Your will, regardless. Amen.