Faith: My Will Be Done
One of the most comforting parts of the Passion story for me is the agony in the garden. That might sound odd, considering how the disciples fall asleep while Jesus is in distress. I suppose I could identify with them as they show weakness when Jesus needed strength. But I am really comforted by Jesus’ words. If the Son of God had to tell himself and his Father, “not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39), I should be able to say the same. There are times when I would much rather have things always go my way, but that is not going to happen. So it’s comforting to know that Jesus did not take the easy way out, but accepted the Father’s will that he should suffer and die.
Whenever we say the Lord’s Prayer we pray, “Thy will be done.” But how often do we still take the easy way out? Ever hear someone tell a lie or spreading gossip that hurts a person’s reputation? We can choose to do nothing (the easy way) or gently reproach the other with a simple question, “What would Jesus do?” When I have a chance to help someone in need, do I tell myself it’s none of my business, or do I ask if there is anything I can do? When I am hurt by the death of a loved one, or am injured in an accident, do I get angry at God for letting this happen, or do I say with Jesus, “Not my will, but yours be done”?
Luke’s Gospel ends the temptation of Jesus in the desert with the phrase, “When the devil had finished every test, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). That time came in the garden. and again Jesus had the last word, choosing to do his Father’s will. Our temptations continue every day as we face frustrations, desire for things we can’t have, unanswered prayers, or our own weaknesses. Even though we know God always does what is best for us when we would rather have what we think is best, at least remember to say, “Not my will, but yours be done.”