I’ve been reading The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers compiled by Arthur Bennett. I highly recommend it. They are short (perfect for a quick morning reading before the kids are up), and they have been very encouraging and challenging to me in my personal prayer life. One of the prayers that I read weeks ago is still lingering with me. It is a prayer that I want to pray sincerely for myself, but it’s a tough one:
“I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is, or should be in all respects,
And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair, I would choose to refer all to thee,
for thou art infinitely wise and cannot do amiss, as I am in danger of doing.
I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal, and it delights me to leave them there.
Then prayer turns wholly into praise, and all I can do is to adore and bless thee.”
–Valley of Vision, p. 4
I’ll be honest. When I read this, I thought for a moment how wonderful it would be if God let me decide how things were going to go. Never in a million years would I “choose to refer all to thee.” I’d be in charge, and it would be awesome. And rejoicing that all things are at His disposal? Delighting to leave them there? I’m too busy trying to yank things out of God’s hands so I can manage the situation and manipulate things according to my desires.
After typing the above paragraph, I did some strategic formatting. As you can see, it’s all about me. My wisdom (ha!) and my wants. The way I think things should go. One problem (among many) with this way of thinking is that my desires (happiness and comfort) are rarely in line with God’s desire for me (to make me more like Christ).
I want to desire what God desires for me. I want to be more like Christ. I want to glorify God with my life and point others to Him and His grace. I want to so fully trust His goodness and faithfulness to me that even if he bidst me decide for myself, I would choose to refer all to the all-wise, all-loving, sovereign Creator. But I’ve got some growing to do in this area. So I guess it’s good that God’s in control, whether I like it or not. 🙂