I logged some fairly intense conversations with God the day the transmission blew in our faithful truck–the one that hauls all the equipment for our lawn mowing business.
“God, are you unaware that grass is beginning to grow here in Mid-Coast Maine?”
I’m well aware that God is sovereign even over this, but, true to form, when little inconveniences pile up, my theology goes off the rails. I forget that Scripture calls us to live an open-handed life.
This challenging posture is the farthest thing from passivity, but, instead, directs maximum energy and passion toward whatever would bring the most glory to God. By grace, we can live in holy indifference to the “loss of all things” if, in the process, we gain a fuller measure of the knowledge of Christ:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him…” (Philippians 3:8-10)
I’m not there yet.
However, recently, in my reading of Barefoot: A Story of Surrendering to God (Amazing how God orchestrates the words we read and the scripts we live), I stumbled across the Wesley Covenant Prayer. Although attributed to John Wesley, leader of the revival movement within the Church of England called “Methodism,” he actually gave credit for the words to Richard Alleine, a Puritan from the 1600’s.
Whatever its origin, this costly prayer of trust and surrender has a way of re-ordering my priorities, messing with my definition of “success,” and adjusting my understanding of God’s goodness:
“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
On this Sunday morning, I invite you to sit in quiet and read these borrowed words.
Make them your own.
Speak them if you can or ponder them until you are able to pray them wholeheartedly.
May the Lord be with you,
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