You know when we think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, we think of Jesus sitting or kneeling ever so gently. Kind of like this pic.
Equipped with those passages, how would you paint the scene? Jesus flat on the ground? Face in the dirt? Extended hands gripping grass? Body rising and falling with sobs? What do we do with this image? Simple we turn to it when we look the same. We read it when we feel the same. We read it when we feel afraid. For isn't it likely that fear is one of the emotions Jesus felt. One might even say that fear is the primary emotion. He saw something in the future so fierce, so foreboding that he begged for a change of plans. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42.
What causes you to pray the same prayer, to put it another way what is your biggest FEAR? Heights? Snakes? Spiders? Crowds? What is yours?
How remarkable that Jesus felt such fear. But how kind that he told us about it. We tend to do the opposite. Gloss over our fears. Cover them up. Keep our sweaty palms in our pockets, our nausea and dry mouths a secret. Not so with Jesus. We see no mask of strength. But we do hear a request for strength. " Father if you are willing, take away this cup of suffering." The first one to hear his fear was his father. He could have gone to his mother. He could have confided in his disciples. He could have assembled a prayer meeting. All would have been appropriate, but none were his priority. He went first to his father. Oh, how we tend to go everywhere else. First to the bar, to the counselor, to the self help book or the friend next door. Not Jesus. The first one to hear his fear was his father in heaven.
How do you avoid life's Garden of Gethsamane? You don't. You just enter them but when you do you don't enter them alone. While you are there be honest. Pounding the ground is permitted. Tears are allowed. And if you sweat blood, you won't be the first. Do what Jesus did and open your heart and be specific with your garden. Jesus was "Take this cup," he prayed. Give God what you are fearful of. Tell him the flight number. Tell him how long the speech is. Share the details of your garden. He has plenty of time. He also has plenty of compassion.
He doesn't think your fears are foolish or silly. He won't tell you to "buck up" or "get tough." He's been where you are. He knows how you feel. And he knows what you need. Thats why we punctuate our prayers as Jesus did. "If you are willing....."
Was God willing? Yes and no. He didn't take away the cross, but he took the fear. God didn't still the storm, but he calmed the sailor. Who's to say that he won't do the same for you? Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil 4:6.
Don't measure the size of the mountain; talk to the one who can move it. Instead of carrying the world on your shoulders, talk to the One who holds the universe on his. Hope is just a look away. Give your fears to God first and let him guide you through them. He has already been through it so who better to turn to.
This was taken from Max Lucado's book Traveling Light.
- ► 2016 (6)
- ► 2014 (12)
- ► 2013 (8)
- ► 2012 (43)
- ▼ 2011 (40)
- ► 2010 (31)
- ► 2009 (44)