Mark 14:36. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
One of the hardest verses for me to read in the whole Bible, especially this year. The stroke has left me so vulnerable I can hardly stand to hear of suffering in anyone.
How do we with civility address the God who can do everything – but has chosen not to take this cup from us? How can I dredge up enough will to follow Jesus’ example and ask for God’s Will to be done before mine when I hurt? “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” Jesus had said, yet he prayed this prayer three times. I guess it is permitted if I struggle with it awhile.
This week one of the people gathered in our home for centering prayer told me when she’d first heard of my stroke, it made her angry. I didn’t know what to say. But the issue has been before me every day for five months now. Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Why have you left this cup in front of me?
Perhaps one of the very smallest answers was so that I could read that verse at the end of the altar stripping service Thursday night. I didn’t choke and need t0 spit during the reading, thank you, Lord. And afterwards some told me there were tears among those hearing me read the Gospel for the first time in any service since the stroke. They found it powerful and meaningful. They were blessed by what God had one servant do, even though the servant struggled.
Today, for six hours, Jesus hung on a cross, unrescued. He was thirsty. I know the feeling as I struggle to regain any swallowing ability. Lord, I would love to be able to sip from a cup that way. You can do anything. May I have this?
Or is there other purpose You still have in mind for me? This is Your day, like the others you have made. It is difficult for me to rejoice and be glad in it. But that is the example Jesus set for us to follow.
May I finish the day well.