Acceptance

On the eve of His merciless crucifixion Jesus had this experience:
And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:39-44)
If you think about the context of Jesus' prayer before the cross, "Thy will be done" takes on a profound meaning that is at odds with the way most folks seem to pray those words in a clich├ęd fashion. For me, praying that prayer has, on several occasions, been a deeply moving experience of surrender to a will that was truly not my own. One month before my first wife passed away I found myself praying that prayer and releasing her into God's hands. It was the hardest prayer that I had ever prayed. Maybe that is the way God's will often is ... maybe trust is only trust when it involves an acceptance of extremely difficult circumstances.
"Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done."
After praying that anquished prayer of acceptance in the garden ... accepting the fate of three nails and a cross ... we find that Jesus moved with much strength through a time of great suffering and trial. Our lesson ... maybe trust is only trust when it involves acceptance of things that we don't understand ... things that fly in the face of our theology ... in the face of the way we think that things should be ... accepting trouble, as well as good, from the loving hands of God.

4 comments:

  1. Well said. I especially liked your line, "maybe trust is only trust when it involves an acceptance of extremely difficult circumstances." It is so easy for us to say we "trust" Him when things are easy or going our way, but when faced with the trials of life, that's when the rubber hits the pavement.

    B~

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  2. Yes, this idea gives a lot of meaning to Paul stating that he had to learn to be content in what ever state he found himself.

    The LIFE within us is so much greater than what is happening to us or our imagined outcomes.

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  3. Bob - your posts lately resonante with a thought that's been bouncing around my head so much this season that I've forgotten where it came from; that in Christ, God's promises are fulfilled... but not how we think!

    -howie

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  4. "surrender to a will that was truly not my own."

    So difficult, yet so necessary.

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