"My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
Have you ever stood face-to-face with a person that you just knew from that first moment you were going to be great friends? That's how it was with Lydia. I set eyes on her at a faculty meeting, and from afar, I felt an innate kinship with this woman, like none I've felt before.
From the instant we began talking there was parallelism in our lives. We shared the same moments in history at a different place and a different time. You see, Lydia was 18 years my senior, yet that age barrier held no resistance when it came to comradery. We laughed, joked, and spoke of troubled times. We set aside weekend nights for fellowship, food, and fun. These nights would often overflow into the wee hours of the morning as we lost time in a discussion only she and I could comprehend. We planned a "girl trip" to do some white water rafting, something neither of us experienced but wanted to, when my children grew up as her family had. We planned camping excursions in the future after she lost her husband when my family time would free up.
I was sitting outside my school enjoying the fresh morning rays when I got the phone call from her daughter. "Mom has had a massive stroke, she's in the hospital," she whispered. "It doesn't look good." The floor situated at the bottom of my life let loose and a flow of emotions came forth making me unable to speak or think. I knew I just had to get to that hospital.
Later that week I was told that she had signed a living will. She wanted no medical interventions should a stroke disable her life. She was brought home on a dreary day, quietly to her daughter's house- to die. I visited her for bit there, as long as I could, wondering if there was even the remote chance that she would heal enough to speak. There were times I knew she tried to reach out to me. Let me know that she knew I was there, but her speech was garbled and unrecognizable. All I could think of was what an inhumane way to die. Hospice was called and made her last days bearable, but still for a living counterpart it was grief beyond belief to watch someone deteriorate that way. All the time I kept praying more ferociously that God would bring her senses back from the abyss. Towards the end I was told that it was family time from this point on, and it was best I said my goodbyes. Heartbroken and confused I left that afternoon knowing full well I'd never see her again.
On those last moments on the the cross Jesus prayed.
"My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Luke 22:42)
My father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." (Matthew 26:42)
Jesus prayed for what HE wanted but also what his heavenly Father would want. It's a dichotomy of prayer to lay before God what we want and then sincerely request that God's will b done. In reality it is an honest, human prayer. It's also a good heaven-seeking prayer. In the time of the actual prayer process the actual words are thought and realized then accepted and said. This is the type of prayer that becomes and instrument of God's will. Isn't the purpose of our lives to accomplish His known will?
Prayer isn't a formula to get what we want. I realize that now. I can't get in God's head and see what his motives are. I must just trust knowing God knows best. The answer is It is God's decision, and he alone knows best. So I now pray during desperate times "thy will be done" and allow God to let me ride on the edge of his daily grace, which at this point is sufficient for me.