Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?” (NLT)
The scene is Gethsemane as Jesus is arrested. Some of the disciples want to fight off the arresting party. Jesus tells them not to bother. He himself had legions of angels at his disposal if he wanted to pursue that course of action.
But the angels were absent because Jesus didn’t call on them. He could get out of this terrible situation but chose not to. He could wield great power but chose not to. He was born on earth to die, and a show of heavenly force would frustrate what he came to do.
A reminder to us that our all powerful God so often chooses not to indulge in a raw display of brute power. We can truly believe God is able to cure all cancer, end all pandemics, fix all relationships, heal all addictions. Yet he does not. Sure, we see God powerfully at work doing what we have deemed unlikely or even impossible. But his power seems to be rationed out, selectively exercised.
And we cannot presume to know the specific reasons why this is so. We know he works good out of evil, and can deepen our faith in times of testing. But why he does not do away with what afflicts us is beyond explanation.
We are left to wrestle with our all powerful God limiting his power, and left to trust that he knows what he is doing even if we do not.