It took me a while to write this blog post. Whenever I read through those last two lines of the Lord's prayer I became frustrated, and I wasn't sure why. With the chaos of COVID, the divisiveness of politics, and the recent mass shootings, asking God to deliver us from evil seemed impossible.
I felt like evil was suffocating all the good in the world. That with every innocent child murdered by an insane shooter, a little more light disappeared. I was tempted to just give up on caring for anything and let the tragedies wash over me. Yet when I dipped my head under the water my frustration worsened. I couldn't stop my soul from crying out.
And so I prayed. I prayed that God would free me from the temptation of despair and deliver me from the bitterness festering in my heart. I prayed for the pain to have a purpose more than making the world hurt.
The prayers didn't take away the pain, but they did offer some insight. When Jesus walked the Earth, He underwent extraordinary temptation and suffering. He was tempted by the devil when He was starving in the desert. He was executed in the most brutal way possible, yet He didn't become bitter and curse the world. Instead, He prayed for His Father to forgive them.
In this sinful world, deliverance from suffering and temptation isn't a promise immediately fulfilled. But it is a promise. God will deliver us, but it likely won't be in a way that we would expect. For now, at least, there's a small lamp that is lighting my path, if only dimly. And I know that whenever I feel overwhelmed, God is with us.