As we continue in Luke 22 and the time of the crucifixion draws closer, we can learn so much from the example of Jesus even in his last days. I was drawn to the Luke 22:39-46 where Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives prior to being arrested.
If you look at verse 39, you’ll see that Jesus went out “as usual” or “as he so often did” to Mount Olives. That secret place, that time of prayer & worship. Throughout the gospels you’ll read how Jesus would ‘pull away’ after a time of ministry and community. Even in the fullness and victories of life, we need to take time to pull away to our secret place. Jesus didn’t just run to God when things got messy (which gratefully we can still do!) but it was an obvious intentional rhythm and habit and need that he has established. Do you have a “Mount Olives” space? Can you develop a “usual” rhythm of spending time in connection and conversation with your God like Jesus did?
As we keep reading through this portion of text, something else jumped out to me. Sometimes we have this picture of Jesus almost void of emotions and feelings. Yet Jesus, as fully God and fully man, had ‘all the feels’. We read how Jesus prays out in anguish, sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground! (vs 44). He cries out to his Heavenly Father “Take this from me!” (vs42a). Just like we read with other giants of faith throughout scripture (David, Moses, Paul), there are moments of real struggle, tension, and heartache! Jesus was no exception. But just like Jesus we get to bring all those honestly and passionately to our Heavenly Father.
But let’s also look at the second half of Jesus' desperate prayer to God. In addition to bringing his honest emotions and pleas to His Father, he continues to trust. “But please, not what I want. What do you want?” (vs 42b). Jesus recognizes that ultimately his situation, his feelings, even his perspective can’t be what he focuses on. Our circumstances and reactions to those circumstances may sometimes take us on many ups and downs, but our ultimate trust needs to remain in God. And when that was hard, we see how Jesus prayed “even more earnestly” (vs 44). May we learn how to press in, with and through all our emotions and layers to be able to land in a place of trust and rest in our God who loves us and knows the best for us.
Jesus, help me to turn to you regularly… help me find spaces and places in my life’s schedule to commune and connect with you. Thank you that I can bring all my feelings and honest heart cries to you. And God, teach me to be able to put my trust in you, in your plan, in your promises even when I don’t see it. Give me perseverance and assurance that what you want for me is good, because you are a good good Father.
Submitted by Rhonda Elgersma