For years, the account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane puzzled me. I couldn’t get past the following train of thought:
“If Jesus is God, then He knows what God knows. If God knew that the only way to redeem humanity was for Jesus to be crucified, then Jesus knew that. Then why on earth did He ask God to ‘let this cup pass from me’ if He knew that wasn’t an option?”
I dissected the account of Jesus in the Garden more times than I can count. I looked for answers, prayed for answers, asked others for answers… and got a lot of nothing.
I was trying to make sense of my second cancer diagnosis when I was drawn back to the account of Jesus in the Garden … and it finally clicked. In the Garden, Jesus showed us how to go to Our Father and ask Him to take the hard things from us. He asked for another way to deal with the sin of mankind while remaining completely submitted to God’s will. The account is there for me (and for you).
Scripture says this:
Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39 HCSB
Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Matthew 26:43 HCSB
In the Garden, Jesus shows us this beautiful truth…
When life presses on you so hard that you can’t rest, your chest hurts, and you have a hard time breathing…
When the obstacle in your path is painful…
When you are afraid of following God’s will…
It’s okay to ask God to take that burden from you.
Let me say that once more…
It is OKAY.
In the Garden, Jesus showed us how to ask God for another option while being completely submitted to Him.
It is important to note that God did not offer another option to Jesus. Submitting to God means that we trust that His way is the best way, even when it is momentarily painful to us. Jesus’s submission to God’s will gave us the gift of Salvation and freed Jesus from His earthly body so that He could return to Heaven. While it would have been miraculous and amazing for God to deliver Jesus from the cross, that would not have brought Him the MOST glory. It was Christ’s sacrifice that brought God the most glory.
Life is hard. We don’t have the ability to see our lives and situations through God’s eyes. We don’t know what God will accomplish through our submission. Many times the immediate pain we face is so overwhelming that we can’t see what God is doing. I don’t know what you face today, but I do know that we have a Heavenly Father who is trustworthy and faithful in ALL circumstances. He knows your hurt, anxiety, and fear and He cares for you. If He asks you to travel a road that is painful, watch for His glory to be revealed through your journey.
My “Garden Prayer” sounds something like this – if you are struggling today, please pray with me…
I don’t want this. I am hurting, anxious and afraid. I don’t want to travel the path before me. You are all powerful, Lord, and I know that you can take this from me. If there is any way for me to not have to suffer through this, I want you to deliver me Lord. Even so, I am yours. I know that you have a plan and a purpose in all things. I know that nothing I face is a surprise to you. I know that you are in complete control. I know that you will not leave me to fight this battle alone. I want every area of my life to point others to you, including the valley I am facing today. I trust you completely and I want what you want. If I must travel this path, let the journey glorify you.