Spending most of my life on the east coast, specifically New York, and specifically Italian, there are certain phrases that seem to have been around me for as long as I can remember. Now this may not be just an Italian, east coast phrase – but I seem to associate it more with that part of my life than this present part in AZ. The phrase is, ‘God forbid!’ You know like if someone was to mention some calamity that might befall a loved one, the immediate response was ‘God forbid!’
“Joey was late and didn’t call. We thought he was in an accident.”…God forbid!
“We’re supposed to go to Ft. Lauderdale next week. I hope this storm we’re supposed to have doesn’t make my plane crash!”…God forbid!
All that salt we ate growing up is gonna give me high blood pressure!”…God forbid!
We better pick up that bread and cheese before the store closes!”…GOD FORBID!
Like we might be able to somehow influence God’s will by evoking his name. Or like God’s concerns extended to each and every event that may or may not take place in our lives. A nice thought I guess, but at its root – to me at least – just another expression of my own lack of trust in God’s will for me. I am learning to trust God to lead me regardless of where that may be – whether good, bad or otherwise. It is not easy, but it is necessary if I am going to learn how to let go and believe that God does have my best interests at heart. Very much like a child that just doesn’t understand why the parent really wants him to eat his broccoli. We need to trust that God knows what is good for us in the long run.
So during this Lenten season I will be trying my best to replace my ‘God Forbids!’ with ‘Your will be done!’
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need…. Matt 6:33