Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.”
I’ve lived a pretty blessed life: I’m happily married and have three adult children; I’ve earned two degrees; my parents are still living — I still have my grandmother, who is in her 90s; we own our home ... so, of course, there are times when I become relaxed and let my guard down, forgetting that for every stage of life, there will be challenges. And I have to grow, evolve and become better. God has to bring obstacles and tests my way. Our spiritual growth can be likened to school: we cannot be promoted to the next grade level until we’ve learned the lessons and skills required for this level. We prove that we’ve retained the knowledge and learned the skill set through testing. As the adage goes, this is easier said than done.
But, we have a great mentor in our Brother, our Savior Jesus. When faced with the biggest challenge in history — a horrific death though He was innocent — He set the ultimate example, yet He yielded to The Father’s will.
Granted, nothing we encounter will ever compare to Christ’s death on the cross, however, we can follow His example when challenges and tests seem insurmountable. It’s by His example and through His death that we’ve gained the victory. It’s our flesh (stubbornness, pride, laziness, fear, pride, unwillingness to be vulnerable, truthful or humble, etc.) that cries out and makes us want to give up when we face adversity. However, we have within us the same power that enabled Jesus to stand silently while literally facing false accusations, emotional and physical abusers, the same Spirit that empowered Him, though beaten, bruised and bleeding, to carry the cross lives within us. And He never leaves us alone. He’s standing by to give us wisdom, strength, and courage. Look at the next verse: “Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.” Luke 22:43
Thank you, Jesus, for Your most powerful and poignant example of strength in a time of great adversity. I often forget that nothing, not one thing that I am working to conquer is stronger or bigger than You. You created me. You created the universe, the galaxy and every, little thing within it. Time exists in You. Nothing is coincidental. Therefore, You created every trial, every test and every challenge for my making. You are proving to me who I am and Whose I am. So, I gladly accept each as part of my proving, knowing that I’m becoming more like You. I praise You for engineering this time, this place, these circumstances, just for me. And I worship You now for the victory. Thank You for counting me worthy.