Both sustenance and fear on Friday night

Thunder and lightning accompanied the rain, beating against the windows here at Vanaprastha. I’d prayed for rain to sustain the newly-sprouted and newly-planted vegetation. Prayer answered?

Though quite deaf in her old age, Freya still sensed the fearsome storm. She headed to the basement—we turned on the lights for her—and there she stayed until the storm passed after midnight. Then she took up her station in our bedroom, her muzzle pointed toward the open window.

I sensed she understood the both: the necessity of rain and fear of the storm’s destruction.

Both grace and challenge on Saturday morning

I checked the herbs and vegetable plants in our garden and the meadow grasses and flowers. Fleabane heads both bowed and perked, both challenged by and soaking up the moisture. Then I came inside to journal. 

Last week, our small group had begun a study about the great prayers in the Bible, starting with The Lord’s Prayer:

Introduction: Our Father Who art in heaven

The First Petition: Hallowed be Thy name

The Second Petition: Thy kingdom come

The Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

The Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread

The Fifth Petition: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

The Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation

The Seventh Petition: And deliver us from evil

The Doxology: For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Which petition challenges you the most and why,” our group leader had asked. Responses differed—I said the third and especially the fifth—and reasons often reached back to childhood. At the end of the evening, we were given journal notebooks and tasked to make a daily entry using one petition each day as the thesis, and to consult Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.

As rain continued to fall intermittently on Saturday morning, I tackled the Third Petition: Thy will be done. Oh my, how I struggle with that, I wrote, since I really want my will to be done. So, I read what Martin Luther had to say: 

“God’s will is done… even if we don’t pray or if we do. But we ask that it be done in this prayer, so when it’s done among us, we’ll have a share.” Wow, this is a different perspective, I wrote. So, my will doesn’t really matter, but my praying does.

“God’s will is done when our faith is strengthened, and we’re kept in God’s Word…”  Okay, I’m not there. My faith is not always strengthened, because I’m not always in the Word, even though God is there.

Challenge.

“God’s will is good and always gracious, both here on earth and in heavenly places.” Goodness both in heaven and on earth.

Grace.

Both guidance and danger on Sunday afternoon

Keith took me out to lunch for Mother’s Day, after church and Bible study, then we stopped to pick up groceries. After piling our purchases into the back of the car, Keith pointed out a female mallard with a dozen ducklings, crossing the grocery store parking lot. 

As I took this picture, I thought, how disconcerting and comforting. Both. The puddle they’d been swimming in had probably dried up, and she was looking for a new home for her family. A mother guiding her children through fearsome dangers; I the mother, praying she’d be guided to safety.

I thought about Freya and the flowers, The Lord’s Prayer and the mother duck.

Awe and blessing. Both.

Link up with Five Minute Friday: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2022/05/05/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-both/

5 Comments

  1. K.L. Hale

    Carole, so much resonated with me in this post. I’m so glad I was able to “see” you and read this. THIS: “God’s will is done… even if we don’t pray or if we do. But we ask that it be done in this prayer, so when it’s done among us, we’ll have a share.” Wow, this is a different perspective, I wrote. So, my will doesn’t really matter, but my praying does.”—this really hit me. I want to get out of God’s way so I can stay in his will. Having Covid these last two weeks, and still battling cough and fatigue, I’ve had to really let go of ANY control I THINK I HAVE. I TRUST GOD. He IS And will get me through this. Happy belated Mother’s Day. Freya, the Lord’s prayer, and the baby ducklings with Mom are truly blessings to think about. Thank you! God bless you!

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      I am so glad this post spoke to you and thank you for your good wishes. Praying for your full recovery. -C.D.

      Reply
      • K.L. Hale

        You’re welcome and thank you so much for the prayers! Karla 💛

        Reply
  2. Sue Love

    Yes, Thy will be done takes a lot of faith to not just say it but to mean it and to accept it. It means we surrender our will to his will and that we accept his will for our lives no matter what that means for us. And sometimes that acceptance will come through much pain and suffering and with tears streaming down our cheeks, but we know that to not accept his will is to resist it and that never ends well.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Thank you for your comment, Sue, and encouragement. -C.D.

      Reply

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