Not my will, but yours be done
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” Matthew 26:38
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus left the city to appeal to the Father. He knew what was ahead of Him and it wasn’t a pleasurable thought. Pain was just around the corner; flesh being torn, beatings, and eventually the cross. He agonized in prayer, petitioning several times.
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he told his closest friends.
While in these low moments his friends slept despite His calls for support. He’s Jesus – the Son of God, and they knew it. He’s Jesus asking for help, but he was alone. He’s Jesus, but crying, agonizing, sweating, and undone. His choice to be fully man probably had never been so real to Him as it was then.
Jesus asks, “Is there any other way?”
He knew what was written and what was to come, but He had to ask.
I get the logic. Despite knowing the answer was going to be “no”, the expression to desire a change needed to be articulated.
There are three different petitions Jesus made that night to the Father. After the third, Jesus accepted the outcome that pain was going to be coming. However, He also accepted that the pain would have purpose. He trusted the Father more than the fear. More than the pain. More than the emotions.
There comes a point in our spiritual growth were we have to accept that His plans may not look like our plans. I am totally against the logic that God gives us sickness and pain “to teach a lesson”, but I am also willing to accept that in the middle of a storm there can be a good purpose. I am becoming more comfortable praying to learn the purpose of the storm, than to only focus on praying for it to end.
Jesus said, “Not my will, but Yours been done.”
It was a confession that the human will seeks the easy way out. I don’t want hardship. I don’t want sickness. I don’t want medications, medical bills, missing loved ones, or broken relationships. Human will can be ambitious and motivated, but it doesn’t like pain. Jesus never prayed for His will though. He taught the disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done.” Jesus prayed for the Fathers will to be done – which is an incredible confession of faith and surrender. If my day was really for the purposes of the Father, then even in my pain He is working it for good. It’s easy to say, but hard to surrender to the fact when I can’t see it.
Surely, you can relate a pain or experience to the emotional toil Jesus was in during His night in Gethsemane. It’s not a day to brag about. It’s low. It’s dark. It’s anger, disappointment, frustration, loss, and yet so very close to greatest moments. Too many people have imploded on a night in their Gethsemane. Suicide, drugs, alcohol, affairs, and simply turning from God. However, it’s not surrendering to the pain that is our greatest moment, but surrendering to His will. I’ve been there, and continually have to make that choice to surrender to Him. Even when the storm doesn’t pass and the pain remains – surrender to His will.
I don’t know what your Gethsemane looks like.
For some it was a phone call of an accident where a life was lost before they reached their full potential. Others may have had to process the doctors diagnosis of a life altering or ending disease. Maybe you’ve not had those experiences but live a life of regret. Maybe it’s one choice that set into motion circumstances you’d rather not be in. Whatever your low is like, Jesus has experienced this pain we feel. What better situation would we want our advocate to the Father to be in?
In my surrender I have to acknowledge that my life would have been easier without my Gethsemane. I’d save a ton of money, live longer, and free up tons of mental / emotional space dealing with my issues. I choose though to not get stuck in “what-ifs” and to let go. I have simply chosen to surrender to the storm, and maximize it’s purpose. Of course, God is God and the storm can go at His word, and I love that and want that – but for now, surrender.
Every time I take medication, surrender. Every time I pay an extraordinary medical bill, surrender. Every time I think about disease shortening my life, surrender. Every time is all the time.
I live to figure out His will, my purpose, and how to best steward each day. In time, the storm will end.
Not my will, but Yours be done.