Go to “Heading Home” and scroll down to Thursday, for the next to last instalment on our trip.
As I look toward Easter, I remember Jesus’ words that night in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Let this cup pass from me, yet not my will, but Thine be done.” When we pray “the Lord’s Prayer”, it is easy to slip past “Thy will be done”, giving it little consideration.
Our world seems filled with pain, sickness, natural disaster, violence. Our friends, our family and strangers make poor choices. We all experience unfair treatment. We pray, “Take this cup away, Lord. Make her choose the right path. Drag him back from his habit.” Unlike Jesus, we demand. We plead. We say more than, “Take this cup from me.” We tell God just what needs to be done. Too often, we forget the second part of Jesus’ sentence, “…not my will, but Thine be done.” We know Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha. When he submitted to God’s will, he suffered and died. Even though we live on this side of the resurrection, we get lost on Good Friday. We want our will not God’s.
Every time we pray, “Thy will be done,” we are submitting our lives to God, the Creator, our parent who loves us, delights in us, holds us in the palm of his hand. When the darkness seems to surround us, it is easy to lose sight of God in charge, of God’s strength, of God’s power at our fingertips.
We don’t know God’s plan for us. We only know the darkness of the moment. When the fog of fear surrounds us, so we can only see one step ahead, hanging onto our faith in God feels almost impossible. We forget that Jesus didn’t want to be crucified. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14: 36) Even in his misery, Jesus placed his trust in God.
A sign we saw on a plaque in a kitchen specialty store in Fredericksburg Texas said, “Faith makes all things possible, just not easy.” Something important to remember.
Click on “Heading Home” for the next instalment on our trip.
When I have a sore throat, I gargle with salt water. I usually feel immediate relief, at least for a little while. As a little girl, my mother bathed my cuts in salt water before applying ointment and bandaids. “Yes, it stings a little,” she would say, “but it washes away the dirt, and the salt absorbs the infection.” Salt water does a lot of healing.
Too often little boys are told not to cry. “Don’t make a fuss. You’re okay. You’re too big to cry.” Both women and men often apologize for crying. “I’m sorry,” we’ll say, as we wipe away our tears, trying to hide our embarrassment.
Many years ago, I attended a grief workshop. A medical doctor told us that tears are absolutely necessary for good health. When we experience extreme stress, our bodies produce a particular toxin (poison). The only way to rid ourselves of this toxin is through tears. When people refuse to cry, the toxin often attacks us. That’s why people often develop cancer or other illnesses after a traumatic experience.
The salt water of our tears brings healing both physical and emotional. Women sometimes talk about needing to have a good cry. Films that move us to tears are good for us. Sometimes, we think we shouldn’t cry at funerals. We want to be strong. I believe that strength comes with our tears. It takes courage and strength to feel the love and the pain that comes when a loved one dies. Tears are part of God’s gift of creation, given I’m sure for their healing qualities. The shortest verse in the Bible is just two words. “Jesus wept.” I encourage you to remember that salt water does a lot of healing, whether it comes from a mighty ocean or a face streaked with tears.
“Jesus wept. Then they said, “See how he loved him!” John 11:34-36