Think of a time when a crisis arose, and you were unable to do anything or move. It may have felt like your only option was to sit back and do nothing. It’s a tough thing to be kept in the background at a time like that— You may recall a sense of helplessness and disappointment which pervaded the experience.
Some of us are sent to the frontline, some of us are sitting in the mid-way, while others are standing in the back. Indeed some of us totally miss the mark—and are clueless as to what’s happening. Whenever you are in a difficult season of life: sickness, financial difficulties, toxic relationships, death of loved ones, etc… You may be feeling hurt and crushed. Where do you go? And who is there to hear you?
In times of crisis, and distress, do you feel called to work even harder to find out how you can stop the ongoing suffering of a particular situation? What if you suddenly realize that the situation is completely out of your control? What if you have no other choice but to watch and wait?
A great example is when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane with his disciples the night before his crucifixion (an unjust punishment for the sin of others). And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matt 26:36
Jesus knew what was going to happen on the next day, and he was in great distress. But he asked his disciples to “Sit here and wait”. Prior to that, all the disciples declared that they would die before disowning Jesus. A few hours later however, they all scattered. Talk is cheap, right? It is easy to say we are devoted to God, but our claims are meaningful only when they are tested in the crucible of affliction.
You may be wondering if your faith is strong enough to stand up under intense trials.
I have asked myself the question, “How strong is my faith? Would it be able to withstand extreme testing?” When suffering comes our way, there is often no way out except walking through it. In the valley of suffering, despair and bitterness are brewed. But there are characters also built and strengthened. The hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of our life, and we shouldn’t give up so easily on our destiny. The valley of suffering can be fertile ground for soul growth.
Jesus didn’t die for nothing. The Word of God teaches that he knew about the suffering that awaited him at the cross.
His agony was worse than death because he was going to pay for the sins of all who are separated from God. The sinless Son of God took our sins upon himself to save us from suffering and separation from our God the Father. Everything happened according to God’s plan, and on that first Easter, Jesus rose again. Whoever believes in his death on the cross and his resurrection, will have lasting life.
His prayer in those hours reaffirmed his desire to do God’s Will by saying, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matt 26: 39
His prayer reveals to us his terrible suffering. In times of suffering people sometimes wish they knew the future, or they wish they could understand the reason for their anguish. Jesus knew what lay ahead of him, and he knew the reason for it. Even so, his struggle was intense— more wrenching than any struggle we will ever have to face.
The question is for us: What does it take to be able to say “As you will, Lord”?
It takes firm trust in God‘s plan and purpose; it takes prayer and obedience each step of the way…
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