Everyday Gethsemane

When there’s a daunting task in front of you, the example of Jesus will help
3 min read

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 14:36

Jay had a hard decision to make. There was something he needed to do, but he dreaded it deeply. Just the thought of it put a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He kept trying to avoid it, rationalizing that it wasn’t necessary. “It’ll take care of itself,” he thought.

But it kept nagging at his thoughts, resurfacing even after he thought he had let it go. He couldn’t shake the sense that he needed to do something about it.

Eventually Jay wondered, was this the Holy Spirit? Was He the one stirring Jay inside? Or was it just an an over-active inner voice?

Then it clicked

It all cleared up for Jay one morning as he was reading the Bible. He was reading in Mark 14:32-42, a passage that describes the night before Jesus was crucified, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jay thought about how difficult it must have been for Jesus when his closest followers let him down that down night. From a human standpoint, it was a total disaster. First they couldn’t stay awake to watch and pray. Then there was the betrayal. Then the denials. Gethsemane was a dark place.

But from a heavenly standpoint, something redemptive was happening. In the midst of all disappointments of that Thursday evening, it was the prayer of Jesus that resonated in Jay’s heart:

“…Yet, not what I will, but what You will.”

That’s it, Jay thought. That’s what I need to do. I need to choose to do what God wants me to do, even though there’s a part of me that is scared to death.

Just as Jesus acknowledged the apprehension he was feeling about the way of the Cross, so Jay could honestly acknowledge the apprehension he was feeling about the path God was leading Him to take. Of course, he would prefer an easier path. But just as Jesus ultimately chose to lean into the will of the Father – not away from it – so Jay’s best move would be to embrace God’s will in his own situation.

Gethsemane experiences are dark and difficult, to say the least. But the true spirit of Gethsemane is not the spirit of abandonment or betrayal as demonstrated by the disciples that disastrous night. No, the real spirit of Gethsemane is resolute obedience to the good plan of a good God.

On our behalf, Jesus chose the plan of the Father. He chose the Cross. To get to the glory of Sunday, He had to experience the agony of Friday.

The real spirit of Gethsemane is resolute obedience to the good plan of a good God.

Maybe you are facing your own Gethsemane right now? Something difficult that you would rather avoid? If so, may God give you the grace and resolve to say with Jesus, “Yet, not what I will but what You will.”

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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