He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.
He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
– Luke 22:41-44
This story has become familiar to many – so familiar that at times we fail to completely immerse ourselves in the story emotionally. In our minds we can tend to skip to the resurrection, and in a way diminish the pain and agony Jesus must have felt in these moments.
Jesus demonstrates emotional honesty with the Father, and at the same time complete trust. “Please take this cup of suffering away…yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Can you see Him, in the garden completely alone, begging for relief and a different way, while at the same time trusting God and submitting to His Father’s will? Can you relate to Jesus? Have there been times where you have begged for relief from pain, or for God to change the path you have been asked to walk? Do you trust him with your life? Are you able to abandon all outcomes and desires into his care because you are secure in His love?
While another way was not provided for Jesus, strength was. “Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.” Think about your own seasons of suffering. Were there people, events, books or songs that brought you comfort and gave you the strength to endure? Can you see the goodness and love of God providing strength and comfort?
My prayer is that you are able to identify with Jesus in His suffering, and know that he identifies with you in yours. That you will have an increased awareness of “angels” that have been sent to give you strength and courage as you run the race of faith.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.”