Editor’s Note: Pastor Scott Peterson continues to share devotions from some of his favorite authors.
May 5, 2020
I will what thou will’st–only keep me sure
That thou art willing; call to me now and then.
So, ceasing to enjoy, I shall endure
With perfect patience–willing beyond my ken,
Beyond my love, beyond my thinking scope;
Willing to be because thy will is pure;
Willing thy will beyond all bounds of hope.
–from Diary of an Old Soul by George McDonald
His Will and Ours by Alvin Rogness
When Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane cried “not as I will, but as thou will,” his own will did not die. He was embracing his Father’s will. There is a difference between surrendering and embracing. To give up your own will to someone is one thing; to join your will with another is something different. You still have your will.
When God created us with free will, he made us different from a dog that has no will but his master’s, different from the bird that yields only to instinct. Even when we sin we have wills, wills that disobey their Maker. Never are we reduced to being mere mammals, cousins of the rat. We may be in rebellion, but we are princes in rebellion.
It has been said that God does not love a weary collapse. He does love our wills to merge with his will. Then we become partners and friends. He is not a tyrant; we are not cowering slaves. We are his daughters and sons.
To know his will at all times is not possible. We need to pray, “Keep me sure that thou art willing.” Without being sure of his will, we still have to choose a course, often with a prayer that he will “call now and then” and that he will forgive if we have misunderstood. And he
Alvin Rogness (1906-1992) was president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, from 1955-1974.