To most men and women, God is a sort of storekeeper who can only justify His existence by supplying them all those things for which they send in a requisition—health, long life, jobs, prosperity, sons, sons-in-laws, houses and husbands.
So long as God gives them what they want, God is good, God is loving, God is wise, and there is none like Him. But the moment He refuses to oblige, He becomes a cruel God, unjust and unkind. His very existence is denied. The God of the majority of us is a “servant” God ready to do our bidding, eager to satisfy our cravings and caprices the moment they are born.
What keeps me restless
Simply put, we do not want God’s Will to be done; we demand that our will be done. And the more I succeed in the doing of my will, the more restless I grow, the more unhappy, the more miserable. It is only God’s Will that can restore harmony and order. And until I learn to submit to the Will of God, even if I reach out to the moon and conquer the stars, I shall but continue to wander from restlessness to restlessness.
We fear surrendering to God
What we need is not this, that or any other thing. What we urgently require is a divine adjustment. At some time or the other, this truth dimly dawns on our consciousness. Pressed hard by circumstances, surrounded on all sides by trials and temptations, failures and frustrations, we feel like turning to God as the only remedy. But we are afraid to leave all things in His Hand for fear of what He may do.
A college student met me, many years ago. “I have fallen deeply in love with a girl,” he said. “I cannot live without her. But her parents will not agree to our marriage. What shall I do? I feel I may go mad at any time!”
“Do you believe in prayer?” I asked him. “Yes,” he answered. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. But when I turn to Him in prayer and feel like leaving everything in His hands, a fear grips me. I do not know what He may do.”
The absurdity of our prayers
So many of us live in this fear. We do not know what God may do if we surrender ourselves to Him. To surrender ourselves to Him is to accept His Will. We are not yet prepared to do so. We still want our wills to be done. Our prayers in effect are something like this: “O Lord who art All-powerful!
Listen to my cry. Rush to my rescue and grant me all that I ask. I want health and happiness. I want bungalows and a beautiful spouse. I want wealth and all that it can purchase. I want honours and fame. I want a position of power and authority. I want men to dance attendance upon me. I want my name to appear in the papers if not everyday, at least, once a week. In short, Lord! I want my will to be done by Thee, and by everyone else!”