And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
The Father could not take away the cup as Jesus had asked, but He could strengthen Him and enable Him to endure it. He could reassure His Son of His presence and His love. He provided what Jesus needed in this moment to go forward toward the greatest trial He would face. And He faced it with grace and strength. He was determined to obey and willing to lay down His life on the cross.
And mercifully, God does the same for us. He may not take away the cup of our trial. His will may be that we endure whatever it is that we feel we cannot endure. But He strengthens us during our time in prayer together. He gives us just what we need to get through it. He reassures us of His presence and His love. He promises He will not leave or forsake us, so He goes with us through those difficult things, and He enables us to face them with grace and strength.
Jesus is proof that a life of obedience does not make us immune to hard things or pain or struggles. But our Great Example shows us how to deal with the worst things we might ever have to face. What did He do when He faced the prospect of the crucifixion and all that it entailed? He went to His Father. He poured out His heart and His grief in prayer. He expressed the agony that filled Him when He sweat drops of blood. He bowed low in humility and submission. He trusted His Father completely.
So may that be our response, as well. May we turn to our loving Father, understanding He is a God who cares and a God who hears. May we trust Him even in the midst of our trial. May we retain a humble and meek heart that is willing to surrender even when it’s hard to do so. And may we find strength and comfort in the presence of our gracious Lord, knowing He will provide all we need to endure.