Ugh, Friday was a rough one girls.
In fact, just about every other Friday is a rough one. It’s the day when my kids’ father picks them up and takes them for his weekend with them.
Every “Pick Up Friday” starts the same. The morning scramble is the same, but there’s that little bit of extra lightness since it’s the last day of the week. I spend the day planning out what I need to accomplish for the weekend and start to think about the possibility of sleeping in for a couple days (woot).
Then pick up comes. It’s generally uneventful. I give my kids "one more kiss” (about three or four times), and my heart sinks a little watching them rolling their suitcases out the front door.
It sinks because this is not the life I wanted for them. Not by a long shot.
To make the most of it, I immediately jump into my jammies and head to the couch to enjoy a quiet dinner-and-a-movie for one. I rummage through my secret “mama stash” of chocolate (which I do not have to eat in the pantry because there are no kids around). And just when I feel like it’s all going to be okay…
The sadness sets in. The silence becomes overwhelming. What seemed like a weekend of quality alone time turns into a countdown of when the pain of missing my kids will end. And I start asking God, “Why?”
Couldn’t there have been another way?
Jesus asked the same question.
After the Last Supper, Jesus knew the time of His betrayal was imminent. He knew He was just hours away from not only His execution, but the devastating punishment required to atone for the sins of all mankind. As the weight of this reality came upon Him, Jesus withdrew to the Garden of Gethsemane to seek comfort in the Father in prayer.
In that moment, extreme sorrow comes upon Jesus. He describes His anguish to His companions, saying His soul as “crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38, NLT).
(If you’ve ever experienced a sadness so great you felt like you were dying, you have some idea of what Jesus is talking about).
Jesus then turns to the Father, knowing anything is possible for Him (Mark 14:36). He entreats the Father, saying, “If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me” (Matthew 26:39, NLT).
Now before you get concerned that Jesus didn’t want to die for you, that’s not it at all. Jesus wasn’t looking for a back door that would leave us all stranded in our sin. In His grief, Jesus simply appeals to the Father for another way this can all come to the same glorious conclusion. He is asking, “Could there be another way for this to all work out?”
Going From Questioning to Confidence
But Jesus doesn’t park there long. In the same breath, Jesus says, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39, ESV). In these few words, we can see that Jesus completely trusted the will of our loving Father. Jesus knew the Father would only require Him to partake in this cup of suffering if it meant the glorious implementation of His perfect plan. And Jesus is totally good with that.
But I wonder, are we?
As I wept alone in the dark that Friday night, I remembered this exchange between Jesus and the Father. I realized that I was experiencing feelings similar to those Jesus felt (albeit to a lesser degree). And gently, God reminded me that His plan is perfect, and that He is making all things new. That He promises to work “all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NIV).
In that moment, God brought to mind Jesus’s response that sorrow-filled night in the garden. And He encouraged me with the realization that if Jesus could trust the will of God with the cross before Him, that same Spirit would empower me to trust God with this.
And He can help you too.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT)
How has God comforted you in your grief? Leave us a comment and share your healing journey- you may bring comfort to another!