“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” ... Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” [Matthew 26:38,39, 42 ESV]
If you ever wondered whether God understands what it is like to be fearful?
Or if he could remotely relate to your anxiety about future events?
This passage helps us to answer those questions and bit.
Knowing the painful fate of scourging and crucifixion every part of Jesus' being is stressed.
His words to friends, and his prayers, are racked with agonizing thoughts and terrifying emotions.
In another gospel it is reported that he sweat droplets of blood as he faced death in the eye.
Every part of Jesus wants to run but he stands firm in prayer.
In a small way I can relate to the thoughts and emotions conveyed in this passage.
Here is a clip from a really stressful time in my life.
A month before my first wife Ellen died I found myself racked with pain and anxiety. I had been praying for her healing for years and she was not any better. That day I prayed a prayer similar to the one in this passage. I released Ellen into the hands of the Father and said that whatever He wanted was OK with me. It was one of the toughest prayers that I have ever prayed. Prayers such as these always are because they involve trust.Praying like this can be so hard because it involves the releasing of our control.
Gut wrenching when we understand that the future may involve personal loss and pain.
Yet these prayers are the kind that dig deep into what it means to trust the Lord.
In times of great pain and struggle it takes courage to trust the Lord.
It can be so hard to release control and simply ask for his will to be done.
Jesus' prayers in the garden help us to know that God can be trusted with our pain.
Not my will but yours Lord. Let your kingdom come and your will be done.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.