39 ¶ And he came out, and went, as he was awont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into atemptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, aremove this cup from me: nevertheless not my bwill, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an aangel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
In verse 42 are found my favorite and most inspiring words the Savior spoke. For an instant, He was a man. He was a flesh and blood man capable of feeling pain and He knew it was coming. He knew it was going to be unbearable for any normal man, and nearly unbearable for even Him; yet, he had the courage to put his trust in His Father, the Father of us all. The most important moment in the history of mankind was still a choice, and He knew it. Even still, He chose to submit to the Father’s will, suffering so that He might overcome the demands of the eternal laws of justice. And knowing that His son needed a little help to do what needed to be done, our loving Heavenly Father sent an angel to strengthen Him and boost Him up, so He could finish what needed to be done.
“Let go and let God”. I have heard this said during some difficult and trying times in my life and the lives of others. It’s meant as a sign of faith. When you’ve tried all you can do to relieve yourself of a problem, disease, hardship, or even sin, and you can’t figure a way out, you “let go and let God” handle it. The only problem is, sometimes God has to let us go through the bitter. Sometimes, He can’t “remove the cup” and make it all better. For reasons we won’t know until we meet Him again, we sometimes have to suffer here. Sometimes we suffer because of the iniquity of another and sometimes it is our own iniquity. Sometimes we see others sailing along smoothly in this life while we are hitting every pothole and roadblock the highway of life can throw at us. It’s unfair, undeserving, and yet, completely necessary. Which is why verses 42 and 43 can be so inspiring to each of us.
In Verse 42, the Savior first asks for the cup to be removed. There is no shame in asking our Father to remove our pain and anguish. Sorrow is not what He wants for us, and, if He can, He will fix it. However, we have to be prepared to follow the Savior’s example and keep moving forward, saying “nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” We need to keep fighting, trying to find an answer or happiness, or whatever it is we are looking for, because there may be some higher purpose we can’t see now (and maybe won’t understand until we stand before Him again). But what I found most interesting and tender about these verses is found in verse 43. Our Father could not make it any less painful or difficult, He couldn’t intervene or help on this one, but, oh, how much He wanted to, I’m sure. So He did the only thing He could do, He sent some comfort in the form of an angel. And He does the same for us. When we think He has forgotten us or doesn’t care, we should open our eyes and hearts a little more to the things around us. A song on the radio, the kind words of a friend or neighbor, a hug from a dear one, a good memory, or even the sweet whispering of the Spirit may be sent as comfort and a boost. Because even though we have to pass through the bitter, He still wants to give us all the sweet that He can. And one day, in some way, the trial will be over and eventually there will be light and laughter again.
I know that God lives and that He hears and answers prayers. Maybe not in the manner we would like, but they are answered. He is tender and merciful and watchful over us, and above all, I know that He loves us unconditionally and eternally. May we all decide to pass through the bitter times and come out on top and embrace Him and have him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.
By Tony McKeighan