“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Matthew 26:39 (NIV)
A man recently left the office of a specialist in one of Toronto’s largest hospitals after being told that the cause of his acute pain could not be addressed surgically. The surgeon said the man might try alternative modalities of treatment but did not hold out any hope they would help his particular problem. The patient chose to stand in line at the cafeteria to feed his depressed spirits with “comfort food” on his way out of the hospital and to go home.
It happened a surgeon was a couple of people ahead of him in the line up and recognised him. The surgeon had performed two procedures on the man for a totally unrelated problem. But because the surgeon had referred the man to the other specialist he was interested in knowing how it went.
The patient briefly stated that there seemed no cure for the pain. The surgeon offered words of sympathy and the man responded that he was encouraged in the knowledge he was older and not younger facing this problem that apparently could not be resolved.
There are many people in similar situations where the pain stubbornly resists any medical intervention and causes the person to be tired, edgy with their emotions, and often depressed about life in general.
There is a need to come to terms with the new reality and efforts should be made to find ways to live with the issue that will not go away. This is much easier said than done. However, the first item on the agenda is to accept the fact that the matter is a new resident with you.
Submission to reality sometimes is a tough battle both physically and psychologically. Wrapping your head around a highly negative thing can tax all our energies. In the context of our verse today we read about Jesus coming to terms with the horrors of the cross. Matthew 26:36-46 relates the scene of Jesus in Gethsemane and how He accepted the terrors of the cross that lay hours away.
First He took special disciples with Him to a remote place away from the business of life. Then He confessed to them His revulsion at the events that were ahead of Him by saying, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Matthew 26:38 (NIV). Following that He went a little ahead of them to be alone and pray and ask that the cup might be removed with the condition expressed in our verse.
There was no doubt that Jesus shrank from the cross but He stepped right up to the plate when it came to doing whatever the Father willed for Him. By falling on His face in prayer, (the only time in the Gospels He does this) we are to understand the depths of the emotion in His heart and how utterly repulsed He was by the thought of the sins of His people being laid on Him.
Jesus accepts what must happen now for the sake of what will come from it in the future. Can you be as submissive to God in your situation? We live in an age that pushes us hard to demand from whoever, “our rights”. Society today has little time for submission. Yet, if we are to have a relationship with our Maker, we must submit. Will you bow down before the will of God today knowing that for all who do there is a glorious future ahead?