Thursday, March 19, 2015

Walking Towards Easter, Day Two

Mark 14:32-42 Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and horrified. Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow —to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” Then He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

The pain Jesus experiences here is so difficult to read. He was "horrified" at what he was about to go through. But while this is so hard to read and put in my brain, it gives me some comfort to know Jesus also was horrified. I am not being overly sensitive in finding all that is about to occur horrifying. It was horrifying. Yet even in his great distress he is teaching me. And He said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Jesus shows me the perfect way to pray. Ask for everything - big, big things - and then find peace in putting God's will before my own. This is easily written, but not easily lived. To get to "not what I will, but what you will" requires enormous trust, and it takes knowing who my God is, knowing His character and resting in this knowing, resting in His love for me. I only get even somewhat close to this by walking always with Him.

Then He came and found them sleeping. “Simon, are you sleeping?” He asked Peter. “Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Pray Jesus says. I cannot stay out of trouble on my own. I need God's help to get me anywhere close to a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. But, oh, when I live closer to this, life is so very good.

Once again He went away and prayed, saying the same thing. And He came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open. They did not know what to say to Him. Then He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The time has come. Look, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up; let’s go! See—My betrayer is near.”

There is such sadness and disappointment here as Jesus' friends let Him down and cannot put their own needs aside for His. The aloneness of Jesus is what so many feel today. I must always be relying on the One who never let's me down. Once I start depending on myself or my family and friends to meet my soul needs, I will be let down.