One of the keys to loving the “twists” in life is embracing their divine nature. Besides, most of the good things in life come from the “twists” in life’s road.

Deo Volente,” it is a Latin phrase meaning “God willing.” A century ago, it was common to include the initials D.V. at the bottom of a letter or invitation. The initials qualified the contents of the letter, indicating plans based upon and subservient to God’s will (James 4).

My Granny was a wiry old woman. In the middle of the Great Depression, at the age of 35, with no means of supporting herself and her four children, she buried my granddad who died in an accident as a West Virginia coal miner. They were married 17 years. She never remarried, probably never even thought about it.

To my recollection, Granny never stated her future intention, be it about going to the grocery store, sweeping the floor, or preparing a meal, without adding the phrase, “Lord willing I am going to….” “Lord willing, I’m going to make a banana pudding.” I was always certain the banana pudding was God’s will! As an ignorant theology student in college, I sometimes said to her, “Granny, it is not necessary to add ‘Lord willing’ to every statement, God doesn’t care if you make a pudding.” She was never deterred.

Now I get it.

Walking through life’s difficulties, there are days I’d like to chat with Granny. I would like to hear from her in my present context of understanding. I’d like to know what God taught her as a young mother, alone in the middle of the Great Depression. Granny somehow learned to resign herself to the will of her God and, with all of her heart and sincerity, to faithfully trust. And it was proven, her trust was not misplaced.

Now, my friends sometimes chide me for saying, “Lord willing.” They sometimes jokingly add, “and if the creek don’t rise.” I don’t care so much about rising creeks, but I do want to acknowledge God’s rightful prerogative to intervene in my plans. Sometimes I add “DV” to the bottom of communications. Deo Volente, if God wills it.

Here are five thoughts about embracing the will of God:

Boldly Pursue Life

Don’t just sit around and wait for the “will of God” to hit you in the face. Use the gifts, insights, and discernment God has given you to boldly pursue the divine future you see. Sincerely acknowledge “Deo Volente,” because reality often ends up different than imagined, but have confidence that God’s progression will bring you to a good place. Otherwise our inactivity bring paralysis.

Allow for Variances

When things turn out contrary to the way you imagined, embrace “Deo Volente”. When things turn out contrary to your plans, if I have not allowed for variances, if I have not allowed for “Deo Volente,” you will get body-slammed. Denial is a normal part of grief, and it takes many forms, but we eventually realize denial does not change reality.

Embrace the Twists

When you lay plans, acknowledge “Deo Volente.” Oddly enough, when you acknowledge such from the outset, it is easier to recognize and joyfully embrace twists in your road. The greatest joys come from the “twists.” Twists may be devastating, but more often, they are incredible blessings.

[shareable]The greatest joys come from the ‘twists’ in our journey. Twists may be devastating, but more often, they are incredible blessings.[/shareable]

Acknowledge Present Reality

Why do some Christians think it a lack of faith to acknowledge present reality? God is bigger than our reality, he can change present reality, but reality is still reality. Responsibly face the things that are. Faith speaks into existence things that are not. Speak to the desired reality while acknowledging present reality. Prayer is seeking God’s will on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6).

[shareable]God is bigger than our reality, he can change present reality, but reality is still reality.[/shareable]

Joyfully Desire God’s Will

I say, “Lord willing,” “Deo Volente,” “DV,” because if I make a stupid or uninformed plan, I WANT God to intervene and help me discover a better path. It takes trust, self-denial, and a bit of “crucifixion,” but His plan is always better in the end. I want God’s path, even when it looks like a path I’d rather not take.

Such is the faith taught me by a wiry little West Virginia woman who weighed less than 100 pounds, always wore her hair in a tight bun on the back of her head, who navigated losses and disappointments that I have only begun to understand.

Deo Volente. God willing.