He went a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39
How many times have you asked God to “take this cup from me”? I can’t even count how many times over the past few months when I felt like I could not handle one more stress in my life. I have asked, even pleaded with God to lighten my burden. My stress and trouble usually revolves around a relationship, work situation, a health issue or anything thing that is not going the way I had planned or thought it would go. In my time of stress I think it would be really nice if I didn’t have to face a certain situation and would feel so relieved if God would just change the situation for my benefit. I think I know best how a situation should turn out.
Then I pause and read the above verse from Matthew chapter 26. I am brought to my knees with humility and shame when I realize how petty my so called trials and tribulations of life are. Jesus must have felt that the world was closing in. He knew what lay ahead and in the fullness of godhood and the fullness of manhood, Jesus understood what death on a cross involved. The physical humiliation and agony of crucifixion would only be compounded by the horror of experiencing God’s wrath for the sins of the world. There was only one solution for dealing with the feelings welling up inside Him — prayer! So Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pour out His heart to the Father in private prayer.
In the garden we find Jesus asking God the Father to take away the immense physical pain and death he knows he will be suffering. However, it is what Jesus says next that provides the most important lesson. He says, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine”. In other words, “God please don’t let me suffer a horrible death, find another way for me to save all of mankind, BUT if that is what YOU want, I want to carry out your will.”
Have you thought about what God wants for your life? He has the best plan, even if it is a hard path. These 10 words can shift your thinking and direction when facing any hardship. “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine”. It is easy to get wrapped up in what we want or what we think would be the best outcome in a hard situation. We try to assert our will over God’s will. We want Him to remove all life’s trouble and pain (that is our will). It is inherent in our fallen nature as human beings to think this way. However, meditating on this verse helps us truly understand that God has a plan for us and in the end it is His WILL that we should pray comes to pass.
Where do you go when life seems unbearable, when stress is stretching every fiber of your being? Jesus identifies with your pain and trial. He knows how it feels to be overwhelmed with conflicting emotions. But think about this: the worst problem you will ever face is nothing compared to what Jesus went through on the cross. And Jesus, who is God Himself handled His ordeal on earth by going to the Father in private prayer.
We need time alone with your heavenly Father. We need solitude to read His Word, to communicate our deepest thoughts, and to discover His answers.