Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church
I love the snow. As I write this I am sitting at my kitchen table watching large flakes coming down fast and begin to cover the ground. I love how it sticks to the branches on the trees. I think it is so beautiful. With apologies to those who don’t love snow or who have to be out in it, I am secretly hoping we get more than just a couple inches. I would be happy with a blizzard . I said as much to my husband when he came down for coffee and he said, “It’s great when you’re in here nice and warm but not so great if you have to be out there.” And therein lies the problem. We often wish for, even pray for what we want, what we think is good or beautiful, while others are hoping and praying for just the opposite. We’ve all probably had a time when we planned a picnic or outdoor event and we prayed for a beautiful sunny day while our neighbor who farms has been praying for an end to the drought so they can feed their livestock. No matter which way it goes, someone will be disappointed
Through the years I have prayed for many things, big and small, that did not end up going my way. I know you have too. We all experience the disappointment and sometimes even the anger that comes when the answer is “no child, but trust that I know best.” If we know that God is good (and He is) and we trust that He knows best (and He does) then no matter how hard the “no” is to accept, we must not allow our disappointment or anger to cause us to be bitter toward God or question His love for us.
Jesus cried out to His Father on the night of His arrest to be spared from the agony of the cross. Not just the physical anguish he was about to undergo, but from the torment of being separated from the Father as our sins were laid upon Him and He endured the punishment our sin deserved. Regardless of His own wishes in that moment, He was still able to say, “not my will but yours.” He knew without a doubt that the Father is good and knew what was best. I will be eternally grateful that God said “no” to His own Son’s request.
Every Sunday in our churches we pray the prayer Jesus taught His disciples saying, “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I hope I can pray that the next time God says “no” to my request and I hope you can too. God really does know what is good and best even if we can’t comprehend it at the time.
The snowfall has slowed down now, almost to a stop and it has barely covered the ground. I’m disappointed but I know there are many people that need to get home safely tonight. So I’m praying for those who must be out in it and saying, “Your will, not mine, be done, Lord.”
Grace and peace,