“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42
Some of you may be familiar with the popular children’s rhyme, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” Throughout the rhyme, children come across various obstacles in their search for a bear. When faced with a hurdle, the rhyme repeats the phrase, “We can’t go over it! We can’t go under it! Oh no, we’ve got to go through it!”
This simple children’s rhyme highlights an important truth about trials and suffering. Sometimes, God does not spare us from our trials. Instead, He provides us with the strength and endurance needed to go through them.
When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew what laid ahead – a gruesome death on the cross. “If you are willing, take this cup from me,” He prayed. Jesus had faith in God’s ability, if He so chose, to remove His impending suffering on the cross. Jesus, however, wasn’t done.
He followed that statement with a powerful expression of surrender, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” This is truly the greatest example of faith in all of history. In this moment, Jesus modeled to us the truth that we will not always be able to go around or over or under our trials. Like the children’s rhyme reminds us, sometimes we just have to go through them.
What trial or obstacle are you facing today? It is tempting to always pray for God to remove the hard stuff from our lives, and occasionally, He will. Sometimes, however, we will have to walk through troubles and suffering. In those seasons, let us pray, “God, if you are not going to let me go around this, please give me the strength and endurance I need to go through it.”
God is delighted to answer this prayer. Scripture tells us that He is near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18). He is a refuge for those who need covering (Psalm 46:1). He is ever-present in our time of need and sympathizes with us in our suffering (Hebrews 4:15). And best of all – “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20b). It is in our greatest moments of need that we can experience the powerful presence of God’s comfort and presence when we trust Him.