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“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him.” Luke 22:41-43
Have you ever been stuck in a situation that you wish so badly could be different but you know it won’t be?
Maybe you or a loved one has a terminal illness. Possibly you are caring for a child, a parent, a husband with an incurable condition.
Maybe you’re in a situation that you know will never change, even though you’ve prayed and sought the Lord and done everything in your power to make it better.
You wish – oh, you cry out to God, “Lord, please! How can I ever live through this?”
Christ was there too.
“But that’s different,” you say, “He came to earth knowing He would die. He got to prepare – He knew in advance. And He knew He’d get to go back to heaven to be with the Lord forever.”
I’ve had those same thoughts too.
But do you know what those two statements don’t take into account?
1.) He knew for His entire life here on earth that He was going to suffer and die.
In God’s goodness, He does not reveal to us the future.
Can you imagine living each day with that knowledge? Talk about a joy stealer.
We would focus all of our energies on that one thing because you know it’s the truth, girlfriend.
Even one little potential worry can ruin our day.
Christ knew, and yet He taught His disciples not to worry about tomorrow.
He lived a joyful, full life, serving the Lord and others. He didn’t let the cares of tomorrow be His joy stealer.
2.) He knew He’d get to go back to heaven to be with the Lord forever.
But wait! We’ve got that promise too!
If you believe that Christ died for your sins, according to the Scriptures, was buried and rose again and lives in heaven, and if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (I Corinthians 15:4, I John 1:9)
When you die, you will live forever in heaven with Christ and God, experiencing joy everlasting(Colossians 3:1-4)!
“Ok. But that doesn’t take away the fact that I am suffering right now!” You say.
You’re right. It stinks.
Even Christ asked the Father “Can we please just not do this?” (My translation.)
He even knew how badly it would hurt. He already knew every detail that would encompass His suffering.
Even though I know Your way is best, I thought I’d ask again, just in case there was any way out.
“Not My will, but Yours, be done.”
You know best, God. I wish – oh how I YEARN for it to be different.
But I accept Your will, because You are accomplishing far more this way than I could another way.
Have you ever stopped to think – what if God had said, “Ok.”?
There would be no hope.
You there – you with the tears streaming down your face. I know you, because I’ve been there too. Asking every day for a different outcome, yet despairing because it won’t change.
I watched my sister-in-law suffer unto death for 6 years with breast cancer.
I watched my father-in-law waste away from brain cancer.
I watched my best friend leave her young family behind due to liver cancer.
I watched my dad and mom both almost die within the span of a few months, and then be altered forever, physically and mentally. And now, we deal with this new normal every day.
But there IS hope.
Because Christ bowed to the Father’s will that day. And God didn’t hang His Son out to dry, either. He sent an angel from heaven to strengthen Him.
He has not left us alone, either.
The Holy Spirit abides in the believer. Christ said, “When I leave, I’ll send you a Comforter.” (John 14:16.)
He is with you, friend. Walking right beside you, carrying you, even.
And, He sends angels in the form of friends to minister, pray, and care for us. We are not alone!
And the ultimate hope, of course, is everlasting life. A life without suffering or pain or disease or illness, because He shall wipe every tear from our eyes. HALLELUJAH!!! (Can I get an “Amen”?)
God sees you.
Never forget that. He hears you. He knows you want it to be different, and He aches with you because He loves you most. He loved His Son the most! Even though the answer was no.
God’s Word gives you the comfort you need, and for deep, abiding peace, cling to Him. Hide His Word in your heart. Spend time in prayer. Write those Scriptures on 3×5 cards and stick them all over your house and car if need be. Let it permeate your heart, soul, and mind.
What are you facing today? Would you let me pray for you? I know this is a heavy subject, but also necessary. Let me know how I can pray, and I will gladly do it. You’re not in this alone, friend.
“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours, be done.’ And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him.” Luke 22:41-43
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Kaylene Yoder says
This post is so encouraging. Maybe we don't understand the "no" and it causes more pain than we care to take, but when we faithfully trust His plan, He can turn tat pain to peace with an answer far more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. This speaks life and hope to many. Blessings!
Ruthie Gray says
YES. More pain than we care to take indeed. But Gods's ways are best, even if we don't see why this side of heaven. Thanks for reading and for the words of affirmation!
This is such a wonderful, edifying, true post. There is so much in this life that we do not understand, and many things, are God's perfect will. The peace comes from total surrender and being willing to relinquish our will to His. Jesus won the victory in the Garden of Gethsemane by making that full surrender, and He left us a shining, perfect example to follow in our own "Gethsemanes". God bless you for sharing what He laid upon your heart. I am so thankful for the sweet encouragement you left behind on my blog, and it was so nice to "meet" you, Ruthie!
Ruthie Gray says
Thank you for reading, Cheryl. Yes, He did make that full surrender in Gethsemane and I'm so glad He did!
Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂