“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
I once read a book by Max Lucado entitled The Final Week of Jesus. These sentences impacted me greatly: “He (Jesus) saw you in your Garden of Gethsemane –& he didn’t want you to be alone. Most of all, he knows what it’s like to beg God to change his mind & to hear God say so gently, but firmly, ‘No’. For that is what God says to Jesus. And Jesus accepts the answer.”
In the garden that night, Jesus agonized over His upcoming destiny. It was planned & ordained by the Father & Christ was obedient. But for those few brief hours, He pleaded for another way.
How many times have I pleaded with God to give me another way of growing & learning? How often have I said, “Lord, I want to be compassionate & caring & to work for your kingdom, but I could do so much more if I were healthy & well!”? How often have I felt that I was appreciative enough of the pain Jesus endured for me without my enduring any more? And I have asked God to make another way.
As of this moment, God’s answer to me is still “no”. Perhaps that will change, but perhaps it won’t. Jesus knew what it meant to endure the unendurable. He did it & He did it alone.
What I face is not faced alone. Christ is interceding for me before the Father even now. I have a high priest who is completely able to underst& my weaknesses. If I approach the throne of grace with confidence, I will receive mercy & find grace to help me in my time of need (Hebrews 4:15). Just as God’s “no” to Jesus accomplished marvelous things for eternity – man’s salvation – so His “no” to me may be accomplishing some small or great purpose in His divine plan.
The next time I am in the throes of pain, depression, discouragement, or despair, I hope to remember Christ’s Gethsemane. Because of His, He underst&s mine. And if the answer is still “no”, He will give me the grace to bear it, never leaving my side.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when I face my Gethsemanes, I know you are there. Thank you for giving me your peace & presence through all the times in my life when the answer is “no”. Amen.
About the Author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in Fredericksburg, VA & is blessed to have the support & encouragement of a wonderful husb& & three grown daughters. God’s grace & strength give her the ability to deal with chronic back pain, depression, headaches, & fibromyalgia. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org & view her blog of devotionals at www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.