"Thy Will Be Done".
We proclaim those words every time we pray the Lord's Prayer. But do we mean them? Do we actually want to say, "Thy will be done as long as it is what I want. As long as it suits me. As long as it does not affect me adversely. Otherwise I will not accept it. I may even rebel".
Is that what we mean by those four words which our Lord taught us?
Do we want it our way because we know best? You'd be surprised how many people want to serve God in an advisory capacity. Telling Him what He should do in this or that situation as it affects our lives or that of our loved ones.
But Christ did not put any conditions when he taught us those four words. He did not say, "Thy will be done however ..."
So, what do these words really mean?
I guess that first and foremost they affirm that God is Omnipotent, the Creator of the universe and all that is in it; including us. And His will, I guess, is that His love might reach each one of us, and that we share in that love, and that we love Him back.
However, there is another dimension to God's will. It is not His will or wish that we are forced into this relationship with our Maker. He gave us love freely and His will is that it is reciprocated freely.
We still retain the choice not to accept or return His love for us.
Let's stop here and consider this for a moment. Is it possible that God's will is therefore never truly done? Is it possible that, if some people do not love Him, turn their back on Him, then God's will is not done?
The answer is YES and NO.
Yes, it is His will that we choose freely our way of life. How we act, what we believe and so on.
No, it is not God's will that bad things happen on earth. It is not His will that some evil people kill others, or steal, or commit all sorts of sins. It is not God's will that some people suffer illnesses and sicknesses. He does not get some sort of pleasure when evil and bad things happen. So in this respect, God's will is NOT done on earth. It is our will that takes over, and we commit those sins freely, no doubt assisted by the devil who surely exists even though we might not always acknowledge him.
Remember, the angel Lucifer had the choice, and he chose to rebel against God. God allowed this to happen because He had given everyone, including His angels, the free will to choose.
The same applies to us when our will, freely given by God as an act of love, takes control and chooses evil. It cannot be any other way. For God to intervene and direct us onto the path of good would mean He has taken away our free will to decide.
God allows evil to happen. It is the consequence of our free will to decide.
And when there is sickness and illness, poverty and suffering; God allows that to happen too. It is not His will directly but often a consequence of our freedom to choose. Our freedom to sin. He allows it to happen, perhaps, I guess again, to offer an opportunity for those amongst us to do good. To help the sick and the poor and the destitute. And not turn the other way like the rich man did to Lazarus at his gate.
So, let us consider again what is meant by "Thy will be done".
I believe that God wishes us to love and trust Him so much that when we pray those words we mean, "God, I know that your will for me is good and is borne out of love. I trust you, and therefore I pray that your will that we should all love you in return actually happens some day".
One day ... the time will come when each one of us, individually, will meet God face to face.
Some of us will have spent our lives praying and truly believing, "Thy Will Be Done".
To the others, God will say, "OK ... Thy Will Be Done. Now go to hell."
(With apologies to C S Lewis for misquoting him).