Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Musings: Gethsemane?

The word Gethsemane means “crushed olives.” And from crushed olives comes oil that heals, illuminates, and nourishes. We all have our Gethsemane. To understand and embrace yours, look at the night Christ spent there before going to the cross: “Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them…‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch [pray] with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (vv.36-39 NIV). Notice: (1) Gethsemane is where your prayers are not answered as you’d like them to be. God understands how you feel, and He has a better plan in mind. (2) Gethsemane is where those closest to you cannot help. Like Christ’s disciples, they will pray with you for a while but then grow tired and give up. At this point, you pray alone. You go on alone. (3) Gethsemane is where you feel the full weight of God’s will. The Old Testament prophets spoke of “the burden of the Word of the Lord.” Luke tells us that in Gethsemane Jesus was “full of pain” and that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (See Lk 22:44). We used to sing in church, “All that I have, all that I am, all I shall ever be; cannot repay the love debt I owe; I surrender to Thee!” If you’re finding it easier to sing than to surrender, you’re in Gethsemane! originally written by Word For You Today.

The above was in my devotional last Friday.  It ruminated with me all weekend as it was one of those wonderful gifts that God provides at just the right time.  I couldn’t help but see clearly how these words are written just for me:
(1) Gethsemane is where your prayers are not answered as you’d like them to be. God understands how you feel, and He has a better plan in mind.This one is a hard one.  I have prayed, and prayed specific prayers and they have not been answered in the way I would have liked.  I wanted something else, God knows what I need.  He knows what will bring glory to Him, He has a far greater plan than I could have…so now I am  (and sometimes struggle) with thanking Him for His plan and awe filled that I am part of it.
(2) Gethsemane is where those closest to you cannot help. Like Christ’s disciples, they will pray with you for a while but then grow tired and give up. At this point, you pray alone. You go on alone.  Oh, how these words are written for my heart.  The situation that I face is so much bigger than I am and, unfortunately it isn’t something others can fix.  I must face it…but HE is there and it is not bigger than He is! I can feel secure in knowing that no matter what the earthly situation is that He will never desert me and will be there in the end.
(3) Gethsemane is where you feel the full weight of God’s will. The Old Testament prophets spoke of “the burden of the Word of the Lord.” Luke tells us that in Gethsemane Jesus was “full of pain” and that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (See Lk 22:44)  As a Christian, I have to admit (though I wish it weren't true), I often struggle with God’s will.  It isn’t always easy to accept and just skip merrily down the path saying, “Oh, no matter, it is God’s will.”  At least for me, it isn’t always easy.  I want everything to work out the way I want them to work.  I want.  The basic truth is…I want MY will.  I have moments of pure anxiety and fear which are born out of the desire for my will and my heart struggling with what is God’s will.  My will is comfortable, easy, even if it isn’t what is best.  God’s will is perfect, complete, and best, but sometimes is painful for me…just as Jesus (full of sinless perfection and grace) felt the pain of God’s will in the garden that night.
After reading these words, I know that I am in my Gethsemane.  I am alone with God in my Gethsemane and I am praying for the healing, illumination and nourishment that come from the oil of those crushed olives and I am thanks filled.

5 comments:

Sues said...

THIS. IS. FANTASTIC. Talk about a Word in due season!!!!! Boy, does this speak to my heart - I can look back on my [most recent] time in Gethsemane; I can see how all of this was exactly on point - I was alone with God's will. Period. And it absolutely MAGNIFIES His miracles to see how His plan *DID* work out for our better!!! You couldn't pay me to go back to feeling sick with the weight of our situation every.single.day, but now that we're through that part of it, God has softened my heart to be able to be THANKFUL (:-O) for those rough lessons. And I *do* appreciate His deliverence so much more, than if we wouldn't have gone through the fire. THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!! It's AMAZINGLY, WONDERFULLY, [even albeit painfully] TRUE!
Love & blessings to you!!!!!!!!!

The Southern Housewife said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing!

southern-newlywed said...

Such a wonderful way to start Monday! this post is straight from the heart of a woman who loves God. :) Great job and thank you!

southern-newlywed said...

Such a wonderful way to start Monday! this post is straight from the heart of a woman who loves God. :) Great job and thank you!

Heather said...

I did not know all of this about Gethsemane. Wow. I am sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult time.