I am still reading in Luke with my family. We recently went over Luke 22. The part that stood out was when Jesus was at the Mount of Olives, before being taken into custody, and was agonizing in the garden.
He (Jesus) withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them (his disciples), knelt down, and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. – Luke 22:41-44
Four things stood out to me very strongly when I read these verses. The first thing that stood out was that Jesus asked the Father to take the cup away from him. The second, Jesus said, “But Your will be done.” The third thing that stood out to me was that Jesus was filled with strength. And lastly, but not least, Jesus still agonized and sweated blood even after being filled with strength.
Tell me. How often have you asked your Father to change the situation you are faced with or are in? How often did you ask that something would not happen, or for that matter that something different would happen? Because I have plenty of times. I do not see an issue with doing so, under one condition.
Jesus was going to be tortured. He was going to endure the crucifixion. He was going to face death. He knew it, he knew what was coming for him. Wouldn’t you ask that it not happen if you were Jesus too? I just love that even Jesus asked God to take it away so that it would not happen. The idea of it is terrifying, just to endure all that! But even then, Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours.”
When we come to God and ask for something to happen or change, there is no problem with that. There is no problem with that if we stay open to God that is. If we are always open in realizing God’s way is the best way. If we are open to hearing his response. Sometimes, asking God for what we would like to happen aligns our thoughts to His will. Because when we ask, He may bring to light why our way is not the best, and that we are only asking because of how we feel. It helps us to not so much focus on our feelings, but rather more on God and his plan. Our feelings are what makes us want something to happen or not happen after all.
Jesus was feeling agony, which made him ask that the cup be taken away. Yet, by openly going to God with it, by stating, “Not my will, but yours,” he was asking for something else. Jesus was asking for strength to overcome his feelings and continue down the path God wanted. He was asking for strength to continue, despite his feelings of distress and anxiety. Our feelings, especially those of distress, anxiety, unease, and fear prevents us from acting. God, at times, will call you to do something and that something could make you feel uneasy or anxious. However, if we do not go to God with these feelings, and instead leave them be, we won’t do what God is calling us to do. Why? Because our feelings are in control, and we follow our will.
When we take our feelings to God and he realigns our focus, it won’t always change how we feel either. I mean, if it would change how we feel, would Jesus still have been in anguish? Even after being strengthened, he was so filled with anguish that he sweated blood! Can you imagine? I would never want to experience Hematidrosis. If you don’t know what that is, it is a rare medical condition that is caused by severe psychological stress and anxiety. This stress or anxiety releases chemicals in the body that breaks down the sweat gland’s capillaries. This causes a small amount of bleeding in the glands, resulting in one’s sweat having a tinge of blood in it. Even after the angel strengthened him, Jesus was stressed and filled with anxiety which caused Hematidrosis. Yet, the strength provided him led him to continue with what God wanted. Jesus still went to the cross!
You see, Jesus expressed his true feelings to his Father. It is never wrong for us to express our feelings to God. We should gladly go to him and state when something he is calling us to do, or a certain situation we’re in is causing us unease. We should be honest in asking him to change the situation. Because he will never leave you unanswered! Your focus will be realigned from “Oh, I don’t want to go through this!” to, “Your will be done!” When you state that, and truly believe it, no matter how you feel, you’ll be strengthened to continue into that certain situation or calling. It won’t matter how you feel, you will even do it scared! But you will do it!
So please, whatever you are facing, whatever you’re going to be dealing with, take how it makes you feel to God. It is never wrong for us to express our true feelings to him! Have a wonderful weekend and God bless!