In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was in anguish as He asks the father if there was another way, besides the cross, for the redemption of humanity; then He prays, “Not my will but yours be done.”
I was thinking about the phrase “not my will, but yours be done.” That feels very difficult to pray with any sincerity. Jesus was facing death and separation from God’s presence and was able to find the strength for this prayer. What can bring someone to the place of being able to say, “not my will, but yours be done?” To give up control. What can make a person in the face of persecution cancer divorce job loss financial loss or death of a family member (especially prematurely) say not my will, but yours be done.
Recently I’ve been thinking about the call of Jesus to take up our cross and follow Him. Truthfully, I don’t like that verse — probably not many of us do. But I don’t think I really understood it. And honestly, I probably have never spent enough time thinking about it to understand it.
However, you can’t get away from the fact that the Gospel of Jesus is self-denial, but the gospel of Kevin (and this culture) is self-fulfillment and entitlement — comfort.
For as long as I’ve been a pastor, I’ve noticed God’s presence is one of the most talked-about ideas but, I think, misunderstood as well. In my observation, it’s because we define God’s presence by the goosebumps we can, at times, feel. While we all love that sensory confirmation of God’s presence, that is only the tip of the iceberg.
I just finished a 3 month sabbatical! I went into it on a journey towards emotional health. It started about five years ago, when I was introduced to the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. It’s been a slow journey. I’ve re-read EHS a few times and referred back to chapters another half dozen. It’s been useful in helping me navigate relationships, but also propelled me on a journey of inner healing.