Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Maundy Thursday

“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed Him. On reaching the place, He said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When He rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, He found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ He asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’” Luke 22:39-46

Did you notice in the beginning of this scripture passage that it says, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives?” I was curious about that and so I looked at my footnotes and it said to look at Luke 21:37 “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple and each evening He went out to spend the night on the Mount of Olives.” Every night starting with the Triumphal Entry to the night in which Jesus was betrayed, He went out to pray.

Jesus was preparing Himself for the “Battle of all- time” that would change history and our lives forever. He made himself ready by praying and spending time with His Father. Jesus knew what He had to do and He was struggling with it and so He would pour out His heart to His Father.

We cannot even begin to imagine what Jesus went through that night, but I would venture to guess we have all wrestled in understanding God’s will for our lives. Have you ever struggled with something until you are completely worn out?

A year ago, it was a day like any other day. I went through my day taking care of the boys and getting ready for a Doctor's appointment. After I finished my appointment I stopped at the store for a few things...and they had a new kind of chocolate treat. I thought, it would be a nice suprise to leave in the car for Troy.

As I drove home, I called my parents. I knew they were going to spend the day with my Grandma but I had expected them to be home..but they were not. As I walked in the door the boys ran to greet me with hugs and kisses and I continued into the house to find Troy to give him a hug. When I looked into his eyes I could see he was deeply troubled and I knew something was wrong. He hugged me close and told me that my Dad was being taken by ambulance to Duluth as he had experienced chest pains. I felt as if the room was spinning and at the same time my breath was being sucked from me. I went into our bedroom and started to cry. Jacob and Matthew were immediately in there wanting to know what was wrong, why was I so sad. We told them Grandpa Jim was sick and he was going to the hospital to get things checked out. I pulled myself together for the sake of the boys and we sat on our bed and prayed for Grandpa Jim.

My Dad was in an ambulance and it would take five hours to get to Duluth from where he was at. During that time we did not have any contact with the ambulance team, in the rush cell-phone numbers were not given. My Mom and my brother were in route and their cell-phone did not have great service. I knew they would call when they arrived in Duluth and had a report on Dad. For three hours I sat and waited. I prayed my Dad would live...I prayed for another opportunity to see hear his laugh with him... I "if onlied" myself until I was a basket case. Finally, I asked the Lord to give me peace. I knew no matter what happened, my Dad was with the Lord. Whether he lived or he died he was with Him. There was nothing else I could do. I asked the Lord to prepare my heart and to give me strength for whatever the future held. I couldn't fix it, I couldn't control it, all I could do was trust in the One, whom my Dad and Mom had trusted all of their lives. My parents not only taught me the faith, they lived in faith. Jesus was the center of their lives and I leaned upon the lessons they had instilled in me at an early age.

My Dad made it to the hospital and I was able to talk to him on the phone the next morning. My Dad is still with us and I give thanks to God for his life every day.

God is with you in your darkest hours and He will never leave your side. We want the best possible outcome to our prayers and it is not wrong to ask. But there will be times when our answers feel like God was not listening and think perhaps He has abandoned us and we question His love for us. God listens and He loves you more than you can possibly imagine. I have had plenty of prayers where I have felt those things...but along lifes journey..I have learned to trust. Whatever happens the Lord will lead me and guide me and give me strenght for each moment. May God fill you with His perfect peace today and always.

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