The Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-44)
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
I read this last week Thursday to be exact (9-29-16) and man did it hit me hard. We all go through times of anguish. In this passage we are injected into a story about Jesus where He is praying in desperation. A desperation we hadn’t seen at this level before now. Jesus is burdened with what is about to take place. We see Him pleading with God, in the next breath He is acknowledging Gods will above His own. In Jesus’ despair we see God send an angel who is not there to lighten the load or to take the burden, weight or desperation of Jesus away but rather to strengthen Jesus’ to withstand more. MORE? If we know God we know He has the power to remove any burden or any weight that he desires so it begs the question why does He allow this anguish to continue? We know God could remove it all in an instant and yet He empowers Jesus’ to withstand all the more. What does this say about God? Does He enjoy seeing us in pain? No. Does He think we deserve anguish? No. Then why? Perhaps because its the anguish that we learn to fall more into Him? Perhaps the anguish no matter how hard and uncomfortable is necessary to grow, to persevere even when we feel like we have nothing. Perhaps in the anguish we find peace in nothing except Him. Maybe thats the lesson. Maybe its a multitude of lessons. Here it is:
44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
When we have nothing. When we are bound to nothing. When we are empty. When we feel lost. When we have nothing but Him our prayers are bound to be more earnest. Nothing is holding us back, nothing is distracting us.It’s just us and Him. Us calling out to him and Him building us back up just as any good father does. Sometimes as children we don’t need a rescuer but rather a revitalize-r. Jesus is revitalized by God through His angels. God knows He cannot rescue Jesus. God knows there is more to the story. Jesus needs to wrestle with what is about to come, to be prepared all the more.
I could keep going, really I could…but now we are brought to a point. Why in the world would I spend so much time setting up this story and prefacing my adoption blog post with so much?
Because I am in anguish, my heart breaks over and over again. Even as I type this my eyes are blurry as they well up with tears. I can barely see my words, so I hope this all makes sense. I am burdened, not because of the things my child(ren) has gone through that has lead us to each other, though that was a burden on a different day(s) but because I don’t how I ever got to this place in the adoption process before realizing I had to choose. I have been so excited each step and being overjoyed with making our family together that I guess I forgot or perhaps ignored that at some point it would no longer be a mirage but that at some point we would be selecting a child(ren). I cringe even thinking about this reality. Everyone is so overjoyed about this child for us that most forget that at some point we have to separate the children. The ones for us and the ones not for us. My heart is breaking as I type this. My eyes welling up again and my heart feels heavy. I feel in anguish, a anguish I have never felt before. A desperation
we I hadn’t seen felt at this level (ever). Jesus I’m is burdened with what is about to take place.
How in the world God?— I find myself saying— will I ever decide which child should come into our home? Which child will get our love, encouragement, support? Because reality is this, some of these kids may never get a home, a mom, a dad, a family who would do anything for them. Some of the kids may never have a family look at them besides us. Each of these children are worthy of all these things and so much more. Each of the children are worthy of a home, a mom, a dad, and a family. My heart breaks a million times over thinking about these kids. We’ve begun looking at children and each of their faces and profiles are seared into my heart and mind. I will never forget the stories and the faces of the kids we don’t adopt. I plead with GOD to rescue me, but I follow that with
“42…yet not my will, but yours be done.”
I know God isn’t rescuing me from this anguish. I now know this troubling in my heart is apart of this process, its a sign of something big to come. We see in the bible that Jesus prayers accompanied or better yet proceeded very important events. God isn’t going to rescue me from this anguish, although the burden of this whole process is really too much, my heart can’t handle much more. I am right where I am supposed to be. I am supposed to be troubled, mad, frustrated, excited, scared, and in anguish. This is apart of the process. Oftentimes I have been guilty of thinking Gods only prerogative is to rescue us from events that are troubling and heartbreaking. I realize even more so now that we don’t serve a God who seeks to only rescue but instead to revitalize us to keep going. To push on, even when we feel we have no strength. I know more fully that God intends to give me strength through this. I have no idea even still how I will ever decide to choose a child. It’d be easy to say, ‘God will show us. We will just know.’ Maybe we will, but this decision is not void of logic. I don’t want to simply base this decision off of a feeling (as the world know it to be), which is often deceptive and fleeting but rather a spirit feeling which encompasses logic and heart.
I have no idea how we will ever begin to decide. To say no to one child but say yes to another? It’s a daunting, overwhelming and a fearful responsibility. But one I know we have been called to make. One I know will forever impact our life’s in the hardest and most beautiful way. One I know we are no where near ready to make. I know God will strengthen us through Himself.
Prayer above all else, His will above our own.