When the Pressure is On
Bible Reading: Mark 14:32-42
Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine. Mark 14:36
EVER FELT PRESSED and pained in the process of doing something you know is right-but you still don’t want to do it? Jesus knows exactly how you feel.
As your Lord walked into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, he was totally committed to giving his life to save lost humankind. But he knew his task would be difficult beyond imagination.
The Greek word for “Gethsemane” means “oil press,” a device for squeezing oil out of olives. Ponder that irony-that Jesus spent the last evening before his death in the oil press. Like the olives, he was about to be crushed through crucifixion. And just as the crushed olives yield oil used to light lamps, so Christ’s sacrifice provides light for your soul.
Doing right isn’t always easy, even for the Son of God. In choosing to go the Father’s way, Jesus made the difficult choice of enduring-painfully-alone.
Even today, doing what is right isn’t always easy or fun. Suppose you’re parking your dad’s new car. You crunch the taillight of another car. No one saw your booboo, so you can speed away and avoid the humiliation of admitting your fault and paying for the damages. Will you do what’s right or take the easy way out? That’s a “Gethsemane moment”-a tough choice to do what’s right in the face of unpleasant consequences.
You’re wise if you handle these tough situations in the same way Jesus did. His prayer in Mark 14:36 is the kind of response you want to show-a prayer you can use in your Gethsemane moments.
“Father . .. everything is possible for you.” Acknowledge that God can do anything he wants to do-eliminate the painful consequences of doing right or supply the strength you need to survive.
“Please take this cup of Suffering away from me.” God won’t be offended by your respectful request to change unpleasant circumstances.
“Yet I want your will, not mine.“Being an obedient follower of Christ means being willing, just as Jesus was, to do whatever God says is right no matter what the consequences may be.
And when you walk out of your place of prayer and do the difficult right thing, realize you’re in very special company.
REFLECT: When have you wanted to do what’s right-but had huge second thoughts because of the cost?
PRAY: Take a tough situation you’re in right now and pray about it, using Jesus prayer.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, © 1996. Used by permission.