DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: ‘Take this cup away from me’
" ... nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will" (Mark 14:36).
Gethsemane was the name of a garden on the western slope of the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. It is here that Jesus, along with His disciples, prays the above words to His Father.
We read about this account in the gospel of Mark 14:32-42, where Jesus asks His disciples to stay with Him while He prays. On the precipice of events that would lead to His crucifixion, Jesus did not want to be alone. In fact, it would seem that, if possible, Jesus would prefer that His Father provide a different path than the one that Jesus was heading down.
But, rather than on insisting on His way, Jesus yielded Himself to the will of His Father for His life. And with that final surrender, Jesus seems to come to terms with what would unfold. He collects Himself, rouses His sleeping disciples, instructs them that His hour has come, just in time for Judas to betray Him.
How often do we, when we are facing the difficulties in life, fall on the ground to our Heavenly Father and cry out to Him like Jesus: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Remove this cup from me.”
We might not say those exact words, but the sentiment is similar. “Father, all things are possible for You. Remove this [fill in the blank] from me.” It could be a terminal diagnosis. It could be financial hardship. It could be the breakdown of a relationship.
All we want is our gracious and good Father in heaven to hear us, have mercy on us, and change the situation. But take note that we didn’t finish the prayer: “Yet not what I will, but what You will.”
That is where our faith can take a hit, because the Lord may not take away what it is that we are asking Him to remove. Why? Because it might not be His will to do so. Because He is going to use that challenge in your life to change you, to strengthen you, to mature you in your relationship with Him, so that you grow in trusting Him.
There is no safer place to be than in the center of God’s will. So, whatever you might be facing in your life, whatever “cup” you want the Lord to take from you, don’t forget to surrender your will to His, for His glory and for your good.