“But, can I….?”

(Sorry about the two different fonts….I can’t fix it).

I write this so I don’t forget….
I write this so I can remember….

I am a substitute at the public schools here in Giddings, as well as the private school. I enjoy public school so much more than private school. It’s hard to explain why; I just do.

Anyway, I write this so I won’t forget.

Here’s a conversation I had with one of my classes (students) this past week (at GISD, at the Middle School).

Me: “Today you will take a test. There will be no talking and no looking around. When you are done you have 2 options: read a book or work on homework. Those are your only options, so don’t ask to do something different. You may not go to the library, the restroom, or get a drink, so don’t ask. You will also be quiet and respect those who are still working.”
Student: “Man, Miss, sounds like prison.”
(Welcome to having Mrs. Tanner as a substitute)! 🙂

I am strict. I don’t deny it.

The teachers love it. The kids….not so much. But, nonetheless I continue to do it. It’s my job. It’s my ministry. And, whether they admit it or not, I think the students enjoy the order and the structure of having me as a substitute.

The reason I laugh (and want to remember the above conversation) is because they ask time and time again: “But, can I?”

“You may read when you are finished with your work.”
“But, can I draw?”

“You may do homework from another class when you finish with your work.”
“But, can I sleep?”

Over and over again I hear: “But, can I?”

And yet, don’t we do that with our Heavenly Father?

Over and over again…

He says, “My child, this is the path I want you to go down.”
“That’s great God, but can I….?”

He says, “My child, trust me.”
“I do God, but can I….?”

In God’s Word you can find His promises written over and over again….to those from over 2,000 years ago and yet they apply to us still today.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

God says He will give us rest and yet we struggle with the idea of not doing something. “But, God, can I….?”

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

God says He will supply all our needs and yet we want to be in control.
“But, God, can I….?”

Oswald Chambers said, “The things we try to avoid and fight against – Tribulation…Suffering…Persecution…are the very things that produce abundant Joy!”

We fight against all that God has called us to be. And all that God has called us to go through.

He promises us, directly from His Word, “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:4

We try to avoid the very thing that He has called us to be. He wants us to share in His divine nature and grow in excellence and glory….in order to produce abundant Joy!

There’s nothing wrong with questioning God. Asking why things happen or what is going to happen, but the real problem comes when we decide we are going to do it our way….

“But, can I….?”

Some people think asking God “why” is wrong.  I don’t believe that. I believe God has given us that right. So, instead of questioning if asking “why” is right/wrong, the real question might be, “will He answer every ‘why’?”  No.  For whatever reason He chooses— God will not answer all of our “whys” — at least not on this side of heaven.

We just have to trust and obey.  Trust He knows what’s best for us and obey the way He shows us to go.

It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. Many of us talk about wanting His will for our lives, but once it is revealed, we get scared and realize that we didn’t quite expect what He had or we don’t like what He says. We let fear take over. Or we refuse to accept it because God’s will isn’t actually what we wanted at all.

Instead we say….

“But, God, can I…?”

I can say all of this because I am there right now. For the last 8 years Paul and I have been together we have prayed over and over for God’s will to be done in our lives, individually. In our ministry. In our marriage. And in our lives, as partners and lovers.

But I never really took into consideration how I would respond to the revelation. I realize that not only should my prayer be, “Thy will be done” but also, “Let me accept Thy will.”

No more “But, God, can I…?”
Instead, “Let me accept Thy will.”


One thought on ““But, can I….?”

  1. Pingback: Year in Review | Finding Refuge

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