We All Have Our Agony in the Garden

Over two millennia ago, a man fully human, and fully divine, was given a mission by His loving Father in Heaven. Following forty days in the desert, fasting and praying, and including temptation by Satan, this Man was ushered triumphantly into Jerusalem. After a poignant meeting and dinner with His followers, this Man retreated to a garden to pray, surrounded by a few faithful friends. While they promptly fell asleep, this Man spent the time on His fully human, fully divine knees, praying.

In Luke 22:42, we see this Man’s fully human nature when He utters the words, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”

Agony in the Garden

This Lent, as I meditated on His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, I was struck by the words Jesus begs from Our Father while in deep prayer.

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me…”

During our lifetime, we are given various times where we struggle. We all have pain, which manifests itself differently for each one of us. There is a time in every person’s life where they are faced with a struggle so deep, and so intense, that we are left asking God why. Sometimes, the pain is so intense, we face the threat of turning away from God entirely – doubting His existence, doubting His will, doubting His love.

And, given the Gospel, we are in good company when we ask God to remove the cup from us – the cup of suffering, the cup of pain, the cup of sacrifice.

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me…”

This Man, who first uttered the words above, requested in His fully human wishes and desires, to have the cup removed from Him. He turned this request over to His Father, and ultimately accepted His mission – to be beaten, whipped, crowned with thorns, have nails driven through his hands and feet, ultimately to die for love of you… and, love of me.

In His fully human moment, He asked the cup to be passed from Him.

Yet, in His divine next breath, He acquiesced, saying,

“…yet, not my will but yours be done.”

We definitely are not divine creatures, but I assert we can still turn to Jesus Christ’s example when we are suffering our own agonies in the garden.

Those times where we are faced with seemingly insurmountable struggles.

Those times where we are in such pain and agony our body is physically shaking, and tears are spilling out of our eyes.

Those times in which we are facing the most agonizing decision of our lives.

“…yet, not my will but yours be done.”

We will all face our own agonies in the garden. What might be mine, may not even register on your radar. What might be yours may seem like an easy pain for me to bear.

But, the point is, we will all face them.

And, we will beg Our Loving Father, Our Merciful Father to let the cup pass from us. We will challenge Him, we will contemplate defying Him, and we may even consider denying Him due to our intense agony.

But, the challenge for us will be to look at the pain and the suffering, and in our next breath, utter the same words Our Savior did for love of us…

“…yet, not my will but yours be done.”

**This is part one of two on Holy Week reflections. Don’t miss the prayer for the times of our agonies in the garden tomorrow!**

 

6 Comments

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  1. I’m looking forward to your prayer for tomorrow! I think the first time I really really begged God to take away my suffering, was when I had eczema so bad the pain brought me to tears every time I changed my baby’s diaper. I couldn’t wash my hair, couldn’t do the dishes, could hardly tie my shoes or button my clothes. My hands and arms were covered with raw skin so bad, people said I looked like a burn victim. I cried out to God, saying, take this away, I can’t even take care of my children, what use am I? They’re suffering because of it, it’s not fair to them! It didn’t go away immediately, but looking back, it’s definitely a miraculous difference. And the even more miraculous part: my mom prayed the same prayer. She begged God to take my pain away, and give it to her instead. Guess what, not long after, my mom began suffering from eczema too. Now mine is manageable, almost non-existent if I were to compare it to what it was. And hers has faded over the years too. But it’s an amazing testimony that God hears our prayers!

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  2. I like this even better on a second reading. Your use of fully human and fully divine in the composition of this is so well-done and thought-provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! It dawned on me during a faith study earlier this week that this, and Christ’s words of “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” on the cross are the two clearest examples (in my opinion) of the duality of Jesus’ nature… fully human, and yet, fully divine. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I am definitely coming back to reread this over and over. Thank you for the wonderful insights. it can be so hard to say “Thy will be done.” but oh so rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

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