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Monday, November 7, 2016

A Walk in the Garden of Gethsemane

Can we really be prepared enough for what's to come? Can we really know in advance how we will respond to hurt/pain ?
I pondered on these questions as I walked with our Lord in the garden of Gethsemane.
"And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”- Matthew 26: 37-38

In his human form, even our Lord wasn't exempted from pain and sorrow. I tried to empathize, to see myself in the garden with Him. He knew what was to come, He knew the agony He was about to be subjected to. He knew His love for humanity was going to lead Him to the cross, where He'll go through unbearable torture to save the ones He loved. Could He have been prepared enough for this hour? How much can you prepare for death even when you know the glory behind it?
"And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”- Matthew 26: 39
It became a reality, his heart pumped at a rate too fast for Him to grasp. He was about to succumb to His fate.The father's beloved was about to be hung on a tree for the world to see. And then He cried out, face down. He couldn't be prepared enough for this hour; at this moment, I saw myself standing side by side with our Lord. At this moment, His human nature was highlighted and I could relate to that...He did this for me.
He prayed- deep down, He knew it wasn't going to change the Father's mind. He prayed- deep down, He knew this was His fate. He prayed- deep down, he knew his pain would be nothing compared to the salvation He was about to bring to the world.
"Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”- Matthew 26: 42
And then I saw the powerful effect of prayer on the heart of man. The prayer wasn't to change the father's mind but the son's. In that moment of weakness, He prayed for His heart to align with the Father's. It wasn't for the cup to be lifted anymore but for the shoulder to carry the cup.
I don't think we will ever be prepared enough for the tragedy that comes with trials of this world. I see people go through very difficult things and I wonder what my response would be if I walked in their shoes. I wonder how prepared we can be to respond to those tragedies even when we are deeply rooted in God's love. We don't ever pray for bad things to happen, but they do because the world is plagued by them.
"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar."- Psalm 42:5-6
I don't know what pain looks like for you and I can't say I understand completely what it feels like. But I hope you are encouraged to take this same walk with me down Gethsemane. Watch the Lord of all the earth be subjected to similar conditions. Observe Him battle sorrow and fear as He heads down the road of immense pain and agony. He is able to empathize with us because HE KNOWS, He's been there. He overcame all of that for this very moment that you feel pain, sadness and agony. That you may go back to Gethsemane and pick comfort off the grounds. That you may also fall face down and cry "Abba, Father"
A lot of times, we find that we pray and the pain doesn't seem to lessen. We may be tempted to think nothing is happening and the power of prayer isn't at work. Look at Christ in that garden, if it was His will, he'd rather choose not to have to go through the pain but prayer helped Him bring His focus back to God. Now look how the rest of eternity eats from the fruit of sacrifice.

I wish we could choose to skip pain but in this world there are many troubles. However, Christ overcame that we may have the confidence to rise above it. May we learn to respond to pain by picking comfort from the grounds of Gethsemane.

Stay encouraged

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