For a grueling, exhausting week, he would neither eat nor rest, he would only “lay all night upon the earth” and pray, seeking out his God. Those close to him would attempt to encourage him and to lift him up, but he would not heed; he would only pray. His new-born child was deathly ill, at death’s door, and this father was beseeching God to spare his young son, to perform a miraculous healing, a physical healing that unfortunately, would never come. My heart bleeds for this dad, for I have stood in his shoes, pleading for God to spare my own child many years ago; I recognize the passion, the urgency, and the desperation in those prayers. Although I am far removed from the famous and beloved King David of Israel, I share a painful kinship with him, for I too have been to Gethsemane.
King David had sinned, having an illicit affair with Bathsheba, working behind the scenes to have her husband, David’s loyal soldier, killed in battle. When called out for his iniquity, David admitted his guilt, confessed and repented, and God responded in mercy, forgiving His broken servant. But the son Bathsheba bore as a result of that sin was now gravely ill. Although King David had pled for healing, begged God to spare this innocent child, God’s answer was no, and the child died, slipping into eternity as his father watched helplessly from the sidelines. How would David respond to his devastating loss? Amazingly, he arose from the ground, washed himself, “…and worshiped.” Although grieved to the core, He accepted God’s will as best, and fell at the feet of his Father in praise. In his deepest pain, he submitted to God’s plan over his own desire. Centuries later, I would plead for my own child’s life, begging God for a miraculous healing. If He would heal, surely I would sing His praises and give Him the glory for His intervention on my child’s behalf, He alone would receive the praise for that healing. But the response I would receive from my Father would be the same as the answer to David’s heartfelt prayer, No, my dear child, physical healing is not my perfect will, accept my plan for this young life. Can you worship Me in My will, or only yours? Can you praise me in your pain?
Prior to His death on the cross, Jesus sought out His heavenly Father beneath those trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Alone and in agony, He prayed “…not my will, but thine be done.” Gethsemane is a small olive orchard nestled at the foot of the Mount of Olives, with the name Gethsemane or vat of oil, painting a mental picture of the process of pressing those olives to extract that valuable oil. In this garden Jesus was pressed and under extreme anguish, overwhelmed with much sorrow as He was about to take on the sins of humanity and bear the wrath of a holy God, but He was willing to accept the perfect will of His Father above His own. David would also experience that Gethsemane moment with his God, praying fervently, but willing to accept God’s will over his personal desires. And his response would be worship.
We will all visit Gethsemane at some point in our lives. May we find the grace to have that face-to-face moment with God, accept His sovereignty, submit to His will, and whisper those words, not MY will, Lord, but thine, be done. And as we humbly bow to HIS lordship in our lives, may our praise and worship ascend to Him as we rest in His perfect will for us.
Luke 22:42 …nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Lord, I am a weak vessel and I don’t always understand Your plan. Help me to have the faith to trust in Your perfect will for my life. When I visit Gethsemane, strengthen me and empower me to accept Your answer as best for me.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-518-62bbf56164b39' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=518&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-518-62bbf56164b39' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-518-62bbf56164b39' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>