This is a depiction of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.
It’s a picture of complete surrender.
The surrendering of our will to our heavenly Father’s can be agonizing at times. That’s what I love about this image. Jesus didn’t make it look easy. In fact, Scripture tells us He experienced such anguish in the garden, such overwhelming sorrow, that His sweat became like drops of blood.
Jesus threw Himself before God and prayed, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from me” (Mark 14:36a). Of course, the cup He was referring to was the cross. Immense suffering lay ahead of Jesus—He would be arrested, beaten, mocked, rejected, and eventually nailed to a cross like a common criminal. He pleaded with His Father, the sovereign ruler of the universe, to remove the cup from Him. God could do it. Nothing is impossible for Him.
But He didn’t.
Isn’t this the same frustration we face? We know that in an instant God can give us exactly what we want. He can make the sickness go away. He can give us the child we desire. He can fix our marriage. He can end our singleness. He can save our family member. He can restore our broken relationships. Nothing is impossible for Him.
But He doesn’t always give us what we want.
Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. Jesus’ prayer didn’t end with His asking God to take the cup from Him. It ended with complete surrender to the will of a good Father: “Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36b). Jesus went to the cross because He knew His suffering had great purpose—namely, life for us—and He trusted the Father to fulfill that purpose.
So what do we do when God doesn’t give us what we want? We do what Jesus did. We surrender our will to the will of our all-knowing, loving, gracious Father—who withholds no good thing from us—and rest in the knowledge that out of our dying to self will come life and life more abundantly.
Emily Ellis is publishing team leader, Adult Ministry Magazines and Devotionals. Originally posted on LifeWay’s LifeLines blog.