“May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,” is part of a prayer we pray almost without giving thought to its meaning. It sounds as if we are heartfelt in our hope for God’s Kingdom to be revealed in the earth; and perhaps there is a part of us that truly does wish for His Kingdom to come. What we miss when praying this way is that there is something that has to be done away with in order for His Kingdom to come – our kingdoms have to go.
There’s a price to be paid to see God’s Kingdom established in our hearts and that is the dismantling of our own kingdoms. Obviously, our kingdoms do not compare to His in majesty but for some reason, we hold onto them fiercely. Our kingdoms are what we have spent our whole lives building; how can we let go when we have invested so much of our time, strength, and money in their pursuit?
The past week and a half we have spent visiting with our families and churches in South Florida and we have enjoyed every moment. Malawi, where we live and serve as missionaries, is far from Florida. Simply having a few days of uninterrupted time with our loved ones, visiting parents, children, and now our grandchildren, is a gift and we have enjoyed our time thoroughly.
At the same time of our visit, a hurricane named Harvey landed in Houston, Texas, destroying businesses, homes, and lives of thousands in its path. The country mobilized and aid has begun to pour into the city that will take months, if not years, to rebuild.
On the heels of Harvey came another stronger, and potentially life-threatening hurricane named Irma (how they come up with these names is a mystery). Initially, the hurricane seemed to be pointed exactly where we are staying with our family: West Palm Beach, Florida. When it was apparent that Irma was on her way, we spent days preparing for the storm and prayed, in earnest, about what we should do: evacuate or not.
The science of predicting exactly where a hurricane will make landfall is not an exact one. We vacillated between leaving and staying for days until we finally felt God had given us a peace to stay. The hurricane took a slightly different path to what was initially reported. While haven’t been hit directly as was initially reported; we’ve had tropical storm force winds and rain. The power is off, candles are lit, and I’m watching the family play games and pass the time until it is safe to go out, survey any damage left by the storm, and carry on.
We can’t do anything about the storm once it has fallen except sit together, enjoy one another’s company, and trust our Father to cover us in the storm. God has, and always will, find a way to break through into our situations to answer our prayers despite our tendency to drift away whenever the crisis lifts.
I wonder if we have exchanged our faith in God for a faith in what we have accomplished. We have idols of our own making sitting in our living rooms: what we have accumulated through all of our hard work. Rather than giving thanks for God’s gifts, we work to gain what we can apart from God and, when they are torn away in some tragedy, we blame Him.
The storm has now passed and while our power is off and we have incurred some damage, it could have been much worse. The kingdoms of our own making are temporary and can end in an instant. Any security we hope to secure on earth is fleeting, at best. Indeed, may His Kingdom come; His incorruptible Kingdom that cannot be blown away by the winds of a hurricane and whose reward is sure in His hands no matter what we may pass through in this life.
May Your Kingdom come.