The Garden of Gethsemane has long been a strong influence in my faith and I often find myself reflecting on that evening before the Lord's agony and death on the cross for all of our sakes.
For me it is remarkable that the Son of God struggled so much with His role in the redemption of the world (justifiably I would say) that he sweat actual blood in his agony and prayer.
To me Gethsemane represents all of the things we experience that we just wish we could avoid and have taken away from us.
It represents all the tough and painful events that we all are inevitably going to undergo in our lives - things we don't understand and cannot fathom why we are being asked to endure them.
The lesson of Gethsemane to me is that we will have to go through some agonies in our lifetime. We are going to want and pray for them to be taken from us just as Jesus did so fervently that evening in the Garden.
But guess what, if God did not spare His own Son what he had to endure in order to save all of us, we too will be made to endure some challenges and storms that we clearly don't want and wish we could avoid.
We need to get through the night.
We need to get through the storm.
As Jesus did that fateful night, after praying we must accept the Garden and TRUST that God will bring us through whatever storm he has us experience.
And as we saw with Jesus and Gethsemane, the Lord will NEVER make us endure these storms alone.
He sent an angel to comfort Jesus as He struggled with the "chalice" in front of Him and gave him the Strength and Trust to carry on in the grand scheme He had planned for our salvation.
And the result is all the many gifts and blessings we have been given today!
Stay Strong and Persevere! :)
"When I am in need of peace, I join Jesus on his knees in the garden of Gethsemane.
In the midst of his own violent storm, about to be seized by Roman authorities, Jesus pauses to pray.
Sometimes it takes a lot of sweat, tears, and agony to get to the point of peace, but prayer is what leads us there, just as it led our Lord.
This glimpse of Jesus praying in the storm is reminiscent of Martin Luther's own insistence:
"I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer."
For Jesus, there wasn't any strategizing to be done with the disciples that was more important than prayer, especially as storm clouds gathered.
What makes this scene an unlikely source of comfort is that Jesus does drown, in a manner of speaking.
It is neither a story of heroic rescue nor of rains that suddenly cease.
In the garden, however, Jesus' prayer is still a source of comfort to me.
There, he prays a prayer of relinquishment, offering,
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).
That THIS was the prayer of Jesus when thunder clapped and winds roared around him, gives me peace to join him in the same prayer."
From "At Peace in the Storm" by Ken Gire