According to Your Will
We are in the second week of Advent and together hundreds of people in the East District are reading chapter 15 in the devotional book by Brian McLaren, titled We Make the Road by Walking. At this moment close your eyes, imagine someone in another church reading the same words you are reading, then say a prayer for that person and for our Churches. Let’s join on today’s discussion.
Have you ever thought, “It’s just impossible!” Perhaps you have a dream and don’t feel capable of seeing it through to reality. Maybe you have made promises, only to break them time and time again. Maybe you have failed too many times, not lived up to the person you wanted to be. Waited too long – opportunities passed you by – addiction holds you captive – the struggle has lasted longer than anyone can take. “It’s just impossible,” screams deeply into your soul and everything seems impossible.
Brian McLaren recounts the story of three women who rightfully could lead the, “It’s just impossible,” chorus. As we read the stories in the Bible we discover that the impossible becomes possible for all three women. I really appreciate the fact that McLaren moves us beyond the debate about whether or not the stories are true and challenges us to explore a deeper meaning. McLaren writes: “What if their purpose is to blur the line between what we think is possible and what we think is impossible?” How would that challenge the things we proclaim as impossible in our lives?
If McLaren is right, then I have to confront the reality that every time I declare something impossible what I may actually be doing is declaring that my ways, my thinking, my actions, are more powerful than God’s. Is that really what I believe?
The young woman, Mary, has to confront that question when a messenger informs her that she will become pregnant and bear a son. Her first reaction is to say, “It’s just impossible!” Then she stops for a minute. Mary’s next statement is a powerful one – one that recognizes she may not know everything. She offers herself to the impossible and even the frightening realities that go along with walking into the impossible.
This advent lesson encourages us to give up control and to surrender to God. McLaren writes,
“We present ourselves to God — our bodies, our stories, our futures,our possibilities, even our limitations. Here I am, we say with Mary, let it be with me according to your will.”
What would happen if you really dared to let God be God, and let yourself surrender to the possibilities found in the concept of “according to your will?” Be bold and courageous and surrender to God’s will. Then you will discover that all things become possible.
My prayers are with you, that you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind, as you read God’s word and engage in walking a road together with those of us in the East District.
May peace be yours,