(Jesus said) "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10
"You can't please all the people all the time."
The truth of those words was brought home to me when I served a large rural congregation in a farming community. I loved those farmers -- still do. They know the Lord's gifts of rain, sun and warmth -- mixed in proper and timely proportions -- will bring about a harvest. Maybe that's why, when my farmers found their fields drying up under a depressing drought, they came to me and asked for a "rain prayer." Hailing from Chicago, the idea of a rain prayer was a new concept, but I told them, "I'll try."
The following Sunday, at both services I prayed for rain. Within 24 hours it rained.
Then, one rainy day, a non-farming fellow showed up in my office. This man, also a faithful member of my congregation, made his living in road construction, a job which in Minnesota is limited to the warm months of the year. With a sigh he unburdened his heart. He said, "Pastor, I know the farmers have been coming in asking for rain, and the Lord has been listening. I'm glad for that, but do you know, every time you pray for rain -- and it rains, I don't work."
I asked, "What do you want me to do? I don't think my farmers are going to like it if I give up rain prayers. They're going to like it even less when they find out you're the one who asked me to do so." The man leaned forward in his seat and, with utmost seriousness, shared: "I've been thinking about that, Pastor. I believe I've got a solution. Why don't you pray that it rains at night? If it rains at night, I still get to work and the farmers still get a crop. Everybody wins."
Which is why, the following month when a request came in for rain, the Lord was asked to send needy showers during the dark hours of the night. Once again, the Lord listened.
This is just one way of saying, although it sometimes is hard being a pastor, it's always hard being the Lord.
I often wonder to whom shall the Lord listen: the farmer who, because he needs a crop, prays for rain or the little boy who prays for sun because he has only one day to go fishing with his dad? Does God listen to the grandchild who fervently pleads that grandma, who has suffered a stroke, might get better or should He hear the heartfelt desire of that same grandmother who has told Him that she is ready to go to heaven?
It's hard being God.
Partly, that's because sinful people with selfish minds and sickened hearts do not trust Him. Take a look at Adam and Eve, who, having been given a perfect home, thought they could do better than the Lord.
Things haven't changed that much over the centuries.
This is why, with our limited wisdom it is right for us to pray, "Thy will be done." Not only did the Savior teach us to pray that way, common sense says it is far wiser to leave final decisions in the hands of our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. They, who have saved us, will continue to do what is right and best for us today and forever.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that You not only listen to my prayers, You will always do what is right and best for Your children. This I give thanks for in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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