Thankful, Honest & Surrendered
As thankfulness provides context, honesty provides a launch point. Honesty is the starting-gun firing. Everything that leads to honesty happens before the race even begins, but the Starter can’t fire the gun until honesty shows up. I wonder how long I have grappled with certain inner struggles, to no avail, simply because I have not been willing to be honest about what’s really within me. Sometimes I can’t see what’s really there. In either case, there cannot be true growth until I’m able to see and call out the reality of a thing. Once that happens, often the remedy is near and simple to digest. Not always, but often.
I’ve been thinking about honesty in my conversations with God. I have found myself, more in times past than present, doing an awful lot of editing/tidying up before I bring a thing before Him. By the time those requests come out of my mouth, they are distorted and usually dis-honest. I’ve tried to anticipate what He might think or say about a thing and shifted accordingly. I don’t mind the motivation behind that process but it’s not the right thing to do. God is calling me to Himself….asking me to put at His feet the things that concern me. I believe He wants to process with me right from the start. Nothing else makes sense.
The reason this matters is that I have an entirely different expectation if I allow Him to guide the way a desire forms and solidifies. In that case, He’s able to walk me through the sifting of thoughts and wants, the objective being that they end up looking as He would have them look, according to His full knowledge of all things past, present, and future. If I filter and edit and then come to Him, I’m primed to lobby hard for my request, having worked out what seems best to me. That’s very different from a heartfelt desire that He influence and conform according to His will. In light of whose council I receive, it makes a lot more sense to simply tell Him the thing, warts and all, then together, start unpacking what’s there that has merit. Do I really trust Him and who He says He is? This conversation lifts that lid and gives me a look inside the box.
Before Jesus was arrested, as He prayed in the garden, He asked for something He could not have, (three times no less!). It wasn’t Father and Son’s first conversation about it because they formed the plan together before the world was created. But there in the moment, divinity and humanity co-existing, the desire for an alternate path burned within Him, and so He brought it honestly to His Father. His expectation that God’s will would be done didn’t prevent Him from making His raw desires known. That’s the balance, and what always ought to characterize my conversations with God. Thanksgiving, honesty, and surrender.
let your requests be made known.”
Melissa Jayne Bokron
Jesus, fully God, fully man. I assume with you he knew he was praying for something that was not to be. Me, being fully woman, but without the leg up on omniscience, I pray and I pray and I pray for something – and I hope I’m praying with a surrendered heart. But as I write this, I am thinking, “…but I do not want to keep praying for something [specific] that God is not intending to give me.” So, to protect my heart from relentless disappointment, I modify the prayer to something generic like, “…I only want Your best God. Whatever it is…” But internally I am screaming, “…but I really want that!!!”
So, all that to say – I am going to intentionally approach God with my specific desires, wants, hopes, needs – honestly. And surrender myself to the process – not the desired outcome.