“not my will, but yours”

This morning as I was preparing to share a word with you, I used my quiet time to inspire me before I began writing. Easter was so early in the pandemic last year that it was difficult to appreciate its weight, but this year, I think we’re all feeling it.

With so much death and change, I remembered Jesus’ plea before he was taken to be crucified. And, no matter what you’re going through today or in this season, I know these are the words of your heart, too.

So, instead of sharing a thought from my brain today, here is a short excerpt from the book She Reads Truth, by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams:

On the night Jesus was betrayed, Scripture tells us He was “deeply distressed and horrified” and His soul was “swallowed up in sorrow” (Mark 14:33-34). He knew what was coming. Both fully God and fully man, Jesus didn’t have the luxury of wondering how the next twenty-four hours would unfold. He knew.

He knew he would never sleep again. He would be dead by this time tomorrow.

The pain of personal betrayals would be matched only by the graphic violence of His own flesh being raked, and torn, and beaten.

He knew and He was horrified and He prayed a “yes” to His Father because of His love for us.

“Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36).

As Christ wrestled–even as He said “yes”–He also asked for escape.

I take great comfort in knowing I’m not the first to have prayed this prayer–to know that I’m not wrong to ask for relief. Jesus went first. He gave us permission to ask to be relieved of our burdens and our sorrows. He also showed us how to trust the Father when He asks us to drink deeply from the cup He has given us (Hebrews 5:7).

The Father did not take the cup of suffering from Him. The suffering came–just moments after Jesus’ prayer, Scripture says, “The hour [was] at hand” (Matthew 26:45). An act of severe mercy. Only this mercy wasn’t for the object of suffering; it was for you and me. It was our mercy.

Our exquisite mercy.

Because Jesus said yes in the garden–and only because of this–we can say yes to whatever we find in our own cups. Severe or spectacular, we can drink in obedience knowing the only One with the authority to put anything in our cup is the Father himself. And just as He has the power to fill our cups with bitter and sweet things, He also has the power to take them away if we ask. He invites us to ask.

Such a beautiful sentiment that nothing I could think of would be more important. I hope you let that message seep into your hearts this week.

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