by David Sisler

Larry was afraid of thunder. A quick summer storm that brought explosions echoing across the sky was not as bad as a bright day that gradually grew dark with threatening storm clouds. The anticipation, the wait, for the heavenly roar Larry knew was coming, was the worst of all.

Finally Larry went to a prominent psychiatrist who specialized in treating brontophobia, the fear of loud noises.

"At your age," the psychiatrist scolded, "it is silly to be scared of thunder. Thunder is our friend. Just think of it as a drum roll in the symphony of life."

"Will that cure my phobia?" Larry asked.

"If it doesn't," replied the doctor, "do as I do. Stuff your ears with socks, crawl under the bed and sing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' at the top of your lungs."

Sometime later, Larry commented to a friend, "It must be God's will for me to be afraid of thunder because no cure I have ever tried ever works."

A man one day asked his daughter, "Carolyn, wouldn't you like to take a walk with me?"

"No," she said.

"It would do you good," he said.

"No," she said.

Then he gave her a lecture on the virtues of exercise and fresh air and taking a walk with him. Carolyn took his hand and they had a walk. Toward the end of the walk he looked at her and asked, "Now, aren't you glad that you decided to walk with me?"

"I didn't decide," Carolyn said. "You were bigger."

Is that the way you view God's will--you didn't decide, God is bigger?

Maybe when you think about God's will, you are not like Larry, believing God's will is something to be endured. Maybe you are not like Carolyn, thinking God's will is inevitable because God is bigger.

Maybe you have other thoughts about God's will.

Maybe you even think that God is unstable, that His will is as changeable as the sentiments a woman inscribed on the ladies-room wall. There were two lines. Although the first one had been scratched out, it was still legible: "Mary loves Jim 7-8-93." Underneath was written: "Mary really loves Bill 8-15-93."

There are two times recorded in the New Testament when Jesus prayed concerning God's will. The first time was when He taught His disciples to pray, "Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The second time was when He faced the agony of Gethsemane and prayed, "Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done."

"Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." All of us want God's will to be done in heaven, otherwise it would not be heaven. But when it comes to having God's will done on earth, done in our lives, we sometimes balk at praying that prayer, because so often we find that God's will is very different from our will.

We hesitate to sing the hymn that says, "I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord," because we have already decided there are some places we just will not go. It can be very dangerous to pray, "Thy will be done."

Do not pray for God's will with the resignation of a Larry who says, "Oh, well, I must endure my fear of thunder. Thy will be done."

Do not pray with the capitulation of a Carolyn who says, "I had no choice. You are bigger."

Do not pray with the temporary conviction of a Mary who says, "Five weeks ago I loved Jim. Today I really love Bill."

But if you understand that God loves you so much, He said, "No," when His only Son asked if the Father's will could be changed and the cross could be avoided, then you can pray with the confidence of Jesus, "Not my will but thine be done!"


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 3/26/94

Copyright 1994 by David Sisler

Your comment is welcome. Write to me at:

Back to David Sisler's Home Page