If you have one of the “Little Black Books” that parishes give out and are keeping up on the readings, this will be familiar. Bear with me, please.
Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed.
Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.”
He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him;
he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.”
This is amazing. Look at what Jesus is doing! He is “troubled” and “distressed”. He is full of sorrow. He’s so upset that he has to fall to the ground!
How many times have we been so upset that we’ve just crashed on our beds and gone “God! Hey you up there? What the heck? Why does this hurt so much? Why must I suffer?”
But do we say the last part? Not my will, Lord, but YOURS.
Life sucks, it really does. We have days when it seems perfectly acceptable to cry over spilled milk. Babies die, earthquakes hit and generally things are just hard. As Christians, however, we are all called to pick up our crosses. Sounds tough right? Does it sound as tough as being mocked, whipped, wearing a crown of thorns, having nails driven into your flesh so that you can hang up by that cross? And on top of that, you are suffering in payment for the sins of every single other human being ever.
Yeah. Doesn’t sound so hard now, does it?
That doesn’t invalidate our sufferings though. That doesn’t mean we should brush them off or feel guilty about asking God to take them away. If they need to stay though, God will give us the strength to persevere. Jesus made it, right? Remember what happened a few days later? The “Son” shone. Literally!
Today, I encourage you to go to the Lord with your sufferings. Feel free to crash on your bed, or the couch, or on a kneeler at church. Complain, whine, tell him how much you don’t want these sufferings. And then remind Him and yourself: Not my will, but yours. Hold me Lord. Carry me through my trials. And let me always remember that the resurrection is waiting.