35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[e] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
God always answers prayer. It’s just that sometimes the answer is “no”. Very recently I got this answer and it was so not an easy thing to hear. I can safely say that it broke my heart and I’ve spent the last few days struggling with the mentality that He’s somehow being unfair, that I’m being kicked while I’m down, that everyone else seems to be succeeding while I’m stuck in the marshes. Add to these thoughts the horrible and depressing thought that I’m just not good enough and that I completely lack any worth whatsoever.
I’ve talked about Satan’s lies before, and these are the kind he most often tends to attack me with; probably because I have this bad habit of listening to them. I forget to remind myself of the truth God has given me. The truth that if an earthly father can love his kid enough to know how to give them good gifts then how much more will my perfect heavenly Father give me (Luke 11:13)? I forget that He gave me the ultimate gift, the gift of His Son.
The verse above hits me deep during this time of disappointment. It shows that Jesus knew what He was about to suffer, that it was going to be the worst pain imaginable (complete separation from the love of His Father), and it reminds me that God the Father said “no” to His Son. The Father said “no” to Jesus. I can’t really wrap my mind around this at all, it’s way to big for my pea, human brain, but that’s what happened. Moreover, had God the Father answered “yes” and taken the cup from His Son we would have had to drink it ourselves. It’s wildly humbling, baffling, tragic and yet a victory.
Now, I’m definitely not comparing myself to Christ by any stretch of the imagination, but mediating on the fact that God’s answers always lead to the best outcome is extremely helpful in these circumstances. Yeah, it still hurts like crazy, and, as a friend said to me this weekend, it really sucks, but I can stand on the faithfulness of God. One day it won’t suck. One day I’ll be thanking God on my knees that He said “no” to me, but for now I will continue to pray for faith and direction.