“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)
I like to drive. Whenever we go on a family vacation, I am usually the one who is behind the wheel. However, on our annual summer trips to Alberta, there is a stretch where Susan usually drives so I can rest. I like to be in control, but there are times when I need to give up control to get where I and others need to go.
Maybe you are like me in that way. If you are, Jesus is showing both of us a different way to live. In chapter 14 of his biography of Jesus, starting with verse 32, Mark describes Jesus’ emotional state as he prays in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is distraught because he knows that he will soon suffer excruciating physical pain and alienation from his heavenly Father for our sake. He begs to be released from the suffering that is set before him and yet he lets his Father determine what happens next.
Jesus is perfect, both in his divinity and his humanity—he is the ideal person—and yet he takes what we tend to treasure most—our personal autonomy—and lays it down before God the Father.
Jesus is showing us that the best way to live is to let our heavenly Father drive the bus of our lives. Jesus is not play-acting an elaborate charade for our benefit. He is telling us that it is the best way for him to live, too, and it is the way that he does, in fact, live.
It seems like a huge stretch for us to even consider letting go of our will until we remember that we were made by God for relationship with God. We were made in the image of God. We bear the indelible imprint of our Maker and we are incomplete without him.
Jesus accepted the cup of suffering that the Father set before him and willingly went to the cross to suffer and die to remove all the sin barrier that was standing between us and our God. Now the union between us and God can be made complete. As our heavenly Father works in and through us like a hand within a glove, we will accomplish things that are far beyond what we can ask or imagine. And it begins anew each day as we pray the prayer that Jesus prayed to our heavenly Father, “Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
We let our Father drive the bus of our life while we rest. And in the end, Jesus will make sure that we all get where we need to go.
Dear heavenly Father, you are the potter and I am the clay. Please help me to put my will in your hands. Come and accomplish through me what you know is best. Amen.