Suffering

“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Tonight is the night that Jesus is betrayed. I don’t think I’m ever fully prepared for this weekend and what transpires on it. I’m never prepared for the weight of Friday, the anxiousness of Saturday or the joy of Sunday. It’s all so overwhelmingly amazing that my flighty human flesh can’t handle it.

As I was reading my Lent series tonight, I came across the verse above and I was struck all over again with awe at how amazing Jesus is.

How many times have I prayed the first part of this prayer? How many times have I desperately asked God to take away my pain and suffering? How many times have I told Him that I don’t deserve this and that if He would just take it away, I would serve Him better? How many times do I fail in my faith in Him?

I really don’t believe that God causes suffering, but I do think that He can be glorified through our struggles and suffering.

Jesus knew this too. Jesus knew He had to die for us because of all the suffering that sin had and would cause. Jesus wanted it to go away; like me He asked God to take it from Him. Unlike me, He went one step further. He trusted and knew that God’s will is higher, that He knows better, and that He has a plan to make goodness shine through our suffering.

I may not understand why I suffer and I may not be able to handle my pain at times. But through it all, I know that God is faithful. He is in control and because of that I can say, “yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Tomorrow Jesus is going to die for me and yet again, I’m not prepared. But tonight I’ll rest in the truth that my God is faithful and that He will bring to completion every good work that He has begun in you and in me.

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Kind Of All Over The Place

It’s cold outside, the wind is blowing, the rain is falling and I don’t know why but I feel like this is the perfect weather for Good Friday. We’re sitting in plastic chairs, eating copious amounts of popcorn and watching The Passion. It’s the movie that chronicles Jesus’ death. I’ve never watched it before tonight but now, after seeing it, I wish I had watched it sooner.

I was never allowed to watch it when I was a little kid, it was too gory, and it showed too much. This wasn’t a bad thing; I probably wouldn’t let my young kids watch it either. It was an awful movie to watch, some of the scenes made me sick, I contemplated running to the bathroom a few times actually…

Maybe you don’t have to watch this gut-wrenching (but utterly true) movie but I do think knowing how Jesus died is important. You see Jesus could have died peacefully, maybe in his sleep, painless and easy but that wasn’t the case.

In order for us to fully grasp how much Jesus loved us and in order to fully understand the grace he has given us, his death had to be brutal. It had to be awful, he had to go through the worst pain imaginable, he had to be beaten beyond recognition; he had to die this way. If his death was peaceful, I don’t think it would mean as much. Watching the horrors he went through play out on a screen left me speechless and the only thing I could think was, “He went through that for me?”

Was he thinking of me as he was whipped?

Did he think of me when he was beaten?

I tried to put myself in his place, I tried desperately to try and imagine how I would feel if I was in Jesus’ position and honestly, I couldn’t. I don’t think I could do it, which makes his suffering all the more powerful.

He loved me as the whips tore his body apart.

He loved me when the crown of thorns was pushed into his head.

He loved me as the nails were driven through his hands and feet.

He loved me as he took his final breath and died.

The weight of that truth is more than I can bear and it brings me to tears because love like that is so powerful. Love like that makes me believe that I can do anything because he loves me. Love like that gives me a place and a purpose in this broken world. Love like that means I don’t have to die. Love like that makes me a beloved and chosen daughter.

This post is kind of all over the place but I like it that way for the same reason that Good Friday is my favourite day of the year. Good Friday makes me feel so many things, sadness, grief, joy, pain, excitement, but most of all it makes me feel loved and forgiven and made new.

My Jesus died today, that’s something I can never repay him for and the craziest part? He doesn’t want me to repay him because he knows there’s nothing I can do that would be sufficient, he just wants my heart and that is enough.