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We all remember Jesus’s night praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before the crucifixion. This occurred the day before good Friday, we call it Maundy Thursday. The word Gethsemane means oil press. For Jesus this was a place of intense pressure, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When life threatens to crush you, we also tend to wrestle in prayer just like Jesus did.
And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. – Mark 14:35-36
Sometimes we can wonder in our situation why God doesn’t remove the cup of our sufferings. We know He loves us, we know He cares right? But in our minds it can be hard to understand why a God that loves us doesn’t answer us. He is silent.
And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. – Mark 14:34
I don’t know if you have ever felt so much sorrow that you felt as if you could die. Jesus did. Just because He knew everything, and He knew why He was doing what He was doing, it didn’t make it easy. Sometimes we know that God is in control, and that He knows what He is doing. But we would be lying if we said it was easy. Faith isn’t having no fear, faith is belief that is bigger than that fear. Faith pushes us to take our fears to the one that can do something about them!
At the end of the day after being honest with God in prayer, we must fall back on these two absolute TRUTHS that God loves us and He is in control. It may not make sense to our finite minds any more than it makes sense to an infant that needs to have surgery. But God is infinite in wisdom and power.
We know that just because God seems silent does not mean God doesn’t care. God loves us and our loved ones more than we ever could. He keeps a record of our tears. He walks with us through these struggles. He turned His back on Jesus on the cross so He would never have to turn His back on us! Jesus suffered on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to suffer for eternity. We also know that just because God seems silent it doesn’t mean that He is powerless. Where were we when He formed us in the womb and threw the planets into orbit and stars in the sky? God is bigger than us, and He isn’t required to explain Himself.
When we have a huge prayer, a big struggle and God is silent… how do we get through it? Do we give up hope? Do we stop praying? Do we get angry at God? Well we saw clearly from the example of the sinless Jesus that it is ok to wrestle and struggle with God over these things. Prayer is not this simple cute “Now I lay me down to sleep.” No, it’s being honest with the God that made you! We have to be real. Sometimes we know that God is in control, and that He knows what He is doing. But we would be lying if we said it was easy. But faith isn’t the absence of fear, faith is belief that is bigger than that fear. His ways are higher than our ways. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will Lord.