While We Journey On
This week has been a mixed bag. As anticipated, the nasty side effects of chemo continued, at least the first part of the week. However, while they subsided a wee bit quicker than last time around, the overall weakness is greater this time. Claudette pulled through it all. By Tuesday morning, she ate all her breakfast, lunch and supper – well-behaved lass. Things picked up from there. It was sheer pleasure to see her sit up in bed and work. It was great to hear her on the phone with her supportive work team, giggling, encouraging and attending meetings. Wow! I surely loved the second part of the week.
The boys had a good week too. The nursery and school were fantastic and very supportive through this transition period and they enjoyed being made a fuss over, especially Joshua. They have already put in their requests for the Easter holiday period – now it’s up to us to deliver.
Talking of which, as this weekend the Christian world reflects on the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus, there are three things in the story, which stood out for me and may have some relevance to current events:
The Bible relates that ‘He began to be sorrowful and troubled.’ In His own words: ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.’
He deemed the cross which He was given to carry, as being too much. Such a burden brought about sorrow and a troubled soul, to the point of death. In a similar way any one of us who has been given a cross to carry, comes to the point of being overwhelmed by the enormity of it: a bad diagnosis, death, loss of income, a broken relationship, etc. And while these crosses may differ in size, their impact on those called to carry them is similar – torment. However, God Himself knows what it feels like to carry a heavy cross, because He was right there, in Jesus. And He agonised over the enormity of it. God is with us in solidarity, in our anguish. He understands!
In His prayer, He asked: ‘Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Take this cup from me!’
Unlike Jesus, we are surrounded by people who pray with us, that this cup may be taken away, that we may be excused from carrying this cross. We are all praying: ‘Take this cup from me!’ because we know that ‘Everything IS possible for Him!’ None of us doubt the power of God to remove the cross: Jesus didn’t doubt it, the Christian church doesn’t and neither do we. God has the power to remove the cup \ cross \ circumstances. We declare His power! When Jesus was arrested, He told the mutinous crowd ‘Do you not think that I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?’ He knew that God has power to save and He declared it! That is why He prayed for the cup to be removed – because God can. In solidarity with one another, and in solidarity with Jesus, we also pray: We know You have the power! Please, remove the cup! We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Son of God and declare the power of God, as manifested on Resurrection Sunday.
However, it is the last part of His prayer that challenges us. Can I pray with Him: ‘Yet not what I will, but what You will!’? It seems to me that when all is said and done, it ultimately comes down to this: do I trust the hand, which holds the cup? Am I willing to go through whatever circumstances befall me, holding on to those two realities: God has the power, and yet He chooses not to intervene in the way I want Him to!?
When evil laughs in our face, when people mock us for our choice to trust in spite of the evidence, when our own soul torments us with questions, when our bodies wake us up in the middle of the night – which side do I lean on, because, as the old saying goes: ‘You fall on the side you lean on!’. Power or Trust? When I choose the latter, I am walking in His footsteps. I am also in solidarity with all those who accept the will of God and in turn, we are walking with Him on this road less travelled. Perhaps this willingness to trust is what makes Jesus worthy of all the power and glory in the end – He trusted the heart of God and chose the cross, over God’s power.
So, as you benefit from the Easter break,
May you know that when you cry out, He hears your prayers and knows your anguish, just as He heard Jesus’ prayer!
May you celebrate the power of God when it is manifested in your life and know that when it is too much, asking for exemption is all right – after all, this is what Jesus did as well!
And when it comes to the crunch, may you have the strength to accept His will, no matter what!
Bible Reference: Mark 14; Matthew 26.