I'm not sure where I first heard the saying, "Where there's a will, there's a way" but I imagine it was something I heard from my parents or an older friend of the family. It's a true saying, I think. But it's a bit misleading.
Now that I have a son in college, and a teenage daughter, I have had plenty of practise dealing with wills. I have a strong will, myself- or at least my husband tells me that. For the most part, when you talk about someone's will, we tend to look at it in a negative light. I think Dobson had a book dealing with strong-willed children, and I think it sold a ton of copies.
Lately as I'm driving along doing errands and talking to God at the same time, I have not been aware of my will, that much, and yet I'm not pleading and begging, as much, for God to show me His will. I've had a bit of an epiphany in these last couple months. Finding God's will (which seems to me to be a strong will) is not all that hard. I've had so many No's and Closed Doors in the last year that it was clear what God's will wasn't. And so I started to conclude that while I didn't know exactly why he was closing certain doors, at least I knew that by not trying to push my way through those closed doors that I was in His will. It became less important to know what His exact, perfect will was and more important that I get it through my thick head what wasn't His will.
Here's my new outlook as Spring approaches: God has a way for me to go, it isn't all that hard to figure out what isn't the right way, and if I cooperate with God- through patience and an optimistic attitude toward the No's- I'll soon have and see all the Yes's I can handle. Because "... all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us" (2 Cor 1:20).
And that word "promise" refers to a divine assurance of good, a pledge.
The only reason why I would struggle with God's pledge to me- to treat me with grace and give me a hope and a future- is if I struggle with the underlying will of those promises. Is it God's will to give me open doors and grace and goodness? Is He quick to want good for me- or is He a God bent on hard times and hard knocks so that we will not get too hopeful for our own good?!
Oswald Chambers comments on this problem of understanding someone's will: "And beware of exhibiting religious deceit by saying, 'Oh, I have no misgivings about Jesus, only misgivings about myself.' If we are honest we will admit that we never have misigivings and doubts about ourselves, because we know exactly what we are capable or incapable of doing. But we do have misgivings about Jesus."
The misgiving we have has to do with: will He or won't He? We know He is capable of holding the world in His hands, but will He hold our own personal world upright and steady when it seems to be crumbling about us? Will He come to the rescue just in time or will He wait as long as He desires to let us stew in our mess or sink in our hole or languish in misery or freeze up in fear?
To believe in God's Almighty Power is to also believe in His power and will to give. He desires to help us. He wants to intervene. He's ready to assist. He has a strong healthy will- and that means that His will is linked to grace, and motivated by love, and fixed on restoration and redemption and release from bondage.
It's a good will. All the time. And that's what I love about Him. And that's what I'm thinking about today.