Before I was born, the doctor told my mother that she would not be able to carry me until birth. He told her the best thing to do was to go home and wait for nature to take its course. Instead of waiting for nature, she cried out to a God that she barely knew asking for my life. Obviously I was born. My mother told the Lord that she would raise me to serve him. She kept her end of the deal; I have slept under more pews than most people have set on. I say this because I have been involved with the church and Christian religion my entire life. As a result, I have endeavored to follow the direction of the Lord my entire life. This is not to say that I have accomplished anything noteworthy other than making a commitment to say “yes” to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As I grew older there were safety nets in place like checking things out with others before diving headlong into them. As a result of this manner of living, I have grown accustom to certain things that throughout my life I have taken for granted. One of those things was been answered prayer. This isn’t to say that I had stumbled upon some magic formula that guaranteed God to answer my beckon call. It is to say that I have developed a calm assurance that what I pray over will have a positive outcome—that is until began this journey. There is much that I could say regarding this, but the focus of this post centers around two thoughts about the Bible. As a lifelong student of scripture, I have many different translations, commentaries and bible tools that I turn to in order to discover the meaning of a particular passage of scripture or practical meaning of a word used in the original writings. One of the things that I have discovered on this journey is found in the writings of the Old Testament book of Psalms. I have discovered that almost without fail, each of the writers have written about God walking off and leaving them; or not being there when they needed him to be there. It appears that there is a place in our walk and relationship with God that we must go through such an experience. I mentioned to my wife in a recent conversation about this that I have managed to take our family from a very stable place two years ago to the brink of complete humiliation and total disaster—all because I have endeavored to obey God! Try wrapping your brain around that one. Better yet, attempt to explain that to your Christian friends. I can tell you from experience, it doesn’t play well. This brings me to the second thing that I would like to comment on concerning the Bible. I have prayed for years that the Lord’s will be accomplished in our life. How is it possible that what we are experiencing can even remotely be the Lord’s will? Explore this with me. To begin I must address a presumption in my own mind. I presume that when I pray such a prayer, that everything will run smoothly—like sunshine and lollipops. After all, according to what we have come to call the Lord’s prayer Jesus himself qualifies the request by adding, “like it is done in heaven.” How can anything but sunshine and lollipops be done in heaven? Therefore it makes sense to me that it will be the same in my world. This would be true if we lived in a perfect place—like heaven! However we live in “anything but perfect” earth, where God’s will being accomplished runs headlong into mankind’s will. God gave his creation a choice and since making that choice, mankind has dealt with the consequences. This means that God’s will is now accomplished around the will of mankind—not over it, (generally speaking, of course). Please know that there is a difference. The second thing that I must understand about praying for God’s will to be accomplished is, the purpose of his will. Since God is eternal and mankind has been created in that image, we too are eternal. This means that the time we have in the time space called earth is only a preparation for the time in eternity. If this is true—explore this with me—then it makes sense that the accomplishment of God’s will would center on eternity rather than on the temporary—earth. If accomplishing his will were only for the temporary, then life on earth would be sunshine and lollipops. If however, there is indeed an eternity that we will dwell in, it makes sense to prepare us for it. There is a place in New Testament scripture where the Apostle Paul states that the coming glory of eternity will cannot compare to the temporary turmoil that we endure while here on earth. Even though this may not comfort me in the “stuff” (we call it Ship High In Transit) that we are going through, it gives me hope that there is a greater purpose that will one eternal day make it all worth while. Once you allow yourself to think this way, passages of scripture like, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” I Timothy 6:8; or, “They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22, begin to make more sense. There is a fairly popular passage of Old Testament scripture often used describe how God looks at his creation, man or mankind. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11. How would our thinking about this change if the passage of scripture is talking about this eternal realm rather than our temporary realm? Explore this with me. Is it possible that it would answer a few more questions about “why” things have or have not happened the way I presumed they would? For me the answer is “yes, yes it would.” Perhaps you have another opinion. Have a great day.