A couple weeks ago, Mike was trying to get Charlie to jump in a pool, but Charlie was scared to jump if his dad wasn’t holding his hand. As Charlie stood at the edge of the pool with his life vest on, Mike kept saying I am strong and courageous, I won’t be afraid over Charlie until Charlie eventually took the leap into his father’s arms. As this was playing out, I couldn’t help but think that this was a direct reflection on our spiritual walk. I could imagine what was going through Charlie’s mind, even as he was asking his dad to catch him. What if my life vest doesn’t work? What if my dad doesn’t catch me? What if I sink? And my mind can so easily be consumed by fears like this, and these fears can effect how I pray.
“And Jesus said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Abba, Father. A term that signifies intimate respect. It is interesting to me here that Jesus uses this word when He is praying because He is about to go to the cross. I can recall so many times that I have called my dad and asked for things that I know that he may say no to. These are times that I definitely didn’t approach him with intimate respect, not that I was rude, but you see what I mean. I also wouldn’t approach him with confidence either. My approach would be colored with a bit of fear and hesitation. Hey, Dad, I know what I am asking may not be possible, but if you are able that would be great, but if not, don’t worry about it. It isn’t that big of a deal.
But see, it doesn’t appear that Jesus approaches His Father with hesitation or fear. He approaches with praise and intimate respect, confidence, and the posture of submitting to His will.
How many times are your prayers clouded with fear or hesitation?
Let me be honest, there are times that after I pray for something I include the but Your will be done. There are also times that I chose not to add that last little bit, which is actually the most important part of the prayer.
If I lived in Jesus’ day, and He told me what was about to happen before He went to the cross, would I have prayed against it and purposefully left off the but Your will be done part out of fear? Would I have shed tears over the horror of the events that He said would transpire? Or would I have had the confidence to say Your will be done? And when I saw Him resurrected with the scars where He had been nailed to the cross, would I shed tears of knowing the beauty of seeing Him alive? Would I cry out in the wonder that He overcame the grave? Just. Like. He. Said. He. Would.
“I am strong and courageous I won’t be afraid”
What are you so afraid of?
The raging sea? He created the sea. If He created the sea, He can calm your troubled soul with just a whisper. Being known? When you were hidden from the world, the Creator of the universe knit you together in your mother’s womb. That He won’t fulfill His promises? On the third day He rose again from the dead. Death? He overcame the grave so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life.
And Jesus said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
This verse became so real this week. I was a friend on the sidelines watching another friend carry her cross. I found myself clinging to the first part of the prayer. Keep her safe. Forget the Your will be done part. My friend though strives to live her life nevertheless. Ultimately below the fear, my hearts cry really is thy will be done, til Kingdom come. And when His will is done fear is shattered, the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead rise.
Abba, Father. I want comfort, You desire our trust. I pray for blessing, You ask obedience. You inspire sacrifice, but I want security. I look for blue skies, You model the cross. You want me to put my confidence in You, I want to cling to my limited abilities. I want a day at the beach, You want us to swim in the ocean of Your grace. Our burdens are heavy, but Your yolk is light. May You always find me picking up my cross and laying down my life. May You find me looking to You with praise and intimate respect. I want you to find me approaching your throne in confidence saying Your will be done, til Kingdom come. Amen.
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