Almost every day, I pray these words: I will travel through this day in peaceful acceptance of your plan for me without resistance, because you are my safety and my story. You know my heart. You know my prayers are for Thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and I know both your sovereign and specific love for me is perfect.
For some reason, when praying these words last Saturday, I had a vivid picture in my imagination of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was face down on the ground, sweating drops of blood, and wrestling Himself to the place where he could stand up and travel through the crucifixion weekend in peaceful acceptance of God’s plan for Him without resistance.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) I think we forget this part. We can say prayers of surrender that sound so great — because they are — but Jesus showed us that wrestling to get to peaceful acceptance of His plan is acceptable — and perhaps even necessary.
Jesus was ALWAYS going to do what God’s plan demanded because Jesus is God the Son. What I believe we are watching, is Jesus teaching us now to wrestle our flesh into submission, since He was also 100% man.
That is what Jesus modeled.
Then he returned to the disciples [after third time] and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”….Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” (Matthew 26:45-46, 48-50)
Do what you came for, friend.
This sentence illustrates peaceful acceptance that was birthed from prayer and wrestling the flesh out of the way! This is the kind of acceptance I want to display and enjoy as I travel through my days. What can we learn from our wrestling Savior?
One, Jesus took breaks to ask for prayer from his disciples. As it turns out, the disciples did not pray earnestly as He requested. I have let my friends down too, in exactly the same way. Jesus was suffering alone, but the acceptance came without the help of people anyway. This makes me think that acceptance can be reached with God alone if necessary.
Second, Jesus perhaps took breaks to stretch his legs or give his nervous system some relief from the intense emotion. Our human bodies cannot sustain intense emotions for extended periods of time. Maybe, like Jesus, we will take breaks for the same reasons, or take breaks in our wrestling to handle daily life responsibilities of raising children and going to work. The point is, like Jesus, we must keep going back until the acceptance comes, which may take several days in a row to keep wrestling with the same matter until the acceptance comes. If repeated attempts are required, Jesus teaches us that nothing is going wrong.
It takes grit to wrestle our fleshly desires out of the way.
The Christian life is not easy. Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23) We are asked to wear the armor of God because we are in a war — a spiritual battle — that requires armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).
First, fight it out with God.
Whatever is in the way of a peaceful acceptance of His plan for us, like Jesus, we are to pour those obstacles out to the Father first. Acceptance may come without needing to seek any other help. I wonder if we only process with friends, read books, or tell counselors after seeking God first. Seeking other help is part of fighting the battles of life, but perhaps we are meant to handle what is left over after God gets our sweat and tears first, and God continues to be our mainstay as the other avenues are pursued.
Like Jesus, keep at it with God, until the peaceful acceptance comes.
Picture Explanation: I had a happy mother’s day, with a shout-out to all the nurses during nurses week as well! A daughter celebrated her first mother’s day! I appreciate my family sending love from far and wide, and my husband for making the best meal ever! I love my entire family.
Speaking of wrestling the flesh out of the way:
If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study in 2023, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and contact me by email. The next opportunity for a face-to-face study starts June 7. Let’s focus on things that count for eternity!
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