In a bookstore 43 years ago I picked up a copy of the Pensées by Blaise Pascal. Pascal was a brilliant mathematician, physicist and inventor, but these were his thoughts about life and God. Years later, I came across a prayer he wrote as he dealt with physical challenges that would take his life before he reached age 40. It has guided my own thoughts and prayers and I want to share it here:
Take from me, O Lord, that self-pity which love of myself so readily produces, and from the frustration of not succeeding in the world as I would naturally desire, for these have no regard for your glory. Let me no longer wish for health or life, but to spend it and end it for you, with you, and in you. I pray neither for health nor sickness, life nor death. Rather I pray that you will dispose of my health, my sickness, my life and my death as for your glory, for my salvation, for the usefulness of your church and your saints, among whom I hope to be numbered.
You alone know what is expedient for me. You are the Sovereign Master. Do whatever pleases you. Give me or take away from me Conform my will to yours and grant that with a humble and perfect submission, and in holy confidence, I may dispose myself utterly to your purposes. May I receive the orders of your everlasting provident care. May I equally adore whatever proceeds from you. -- Blaise Pascal, d. 1650