Read Luke 22:39-44
39 Then he went out of the city and up on to the Mount of Olives, as he had often done before, with the disciples following him. And when he reached his usual place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not have to face temptation!”
41-42 Then he went off by himself, about a stone’s throw away, and falling on his knees, prayed in these words—“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me—but it is not my will, but yours, that must be done.”
43-45 And an angel from Heaven appeared, strengthening him. He was in agony and prayed even more intensely so that his sweat was like great drops of blood falling to the ground. Then he got to his feet from his prayer and walking back to his disciples, he found them sleeping through sheer grief. (JBP)
Our desire to follow God’s ways is always shadowed by our own self-centredness. We tell God to show us his way, but so often we have our own agendas and these can stop us hearing what God might be saying to us. Our spiritual ears will be deafened by the noise of our own attachments and fears and passions. To truly hear God we need to be truly open to all that he would say to us.
This is what Jesus faced in Gethsemane. He certainly didn’t want to be crucified but expressed his willingness to endure it if this is what God wanted. But this was no serene surrender, no blissful acceptance of pain, no easy obedience. Jesus struggled to surrender to the will of God, to lay aside his own desires and attachments. If he struggled, chances are we will do likewise.
Trust like this does not come easily. To commit our ways to God and trust that he knows what he is doing does not come naturally to us. We want to retain control of our lives and relegate God to the role of an advisor. We want him to fit in with our own plans. Sometimes he will, but at other times he bids us be radically open to a new thing, a different direction.
Ultimately, faith is not about knowing what God is doing, but trusting that he knows what he is doing.