I’ve prepared for many things over the years of my life. To name a few – first days of school, my wedding, the births of my children, writing projects, and my oldest child’s Highschool graduation. Some of those moments have been met with great enthusiasm, while others have brought about a crazy amount of apprehension. While preparation doesn’t always equal celebration there is great purpose in how we approach these moments!
“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:36-46
I want to be fully transparent and tell you that even though I fully recognize the purpose of this prayer and the time period that followed, it still breaks my heart. We see a picture of Jesus’ desperation for the presence of His Father. The fact that He fell on His face and prayed paints a picture of His need at this time. A need that He knew full well could only taken to His Father. How many times have life’s circumstances or events brought you face down on your knees in prayer to your Father? In the effort to be crystal clear and fully transparent in regard to myself and parts of my past –I have had many of these moments. However, the unfortunate parts reside more with how I handled it and less with the actual situation that I was dealing with. That doesn’t mean that I was not dealing with an intimidatingly huge change or monumental heartache, but the reality is that some of those times, I haphazardly prepared through my own understanding instead of falling on my knees and crying out to God.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
The first step of preparing for life’s celebrations and difficulties should always, always, always be stepping away for meaningful and Biblical REST in God. We should strive to intentionally train ourselves to go to God first instead of attempting to prepare for what’s next on our own. This restful preparation actually prepares our hearts and minds to live out any circumstance regardless of the details, all for the honor and glory of the Almighty. Even when we can’t find the meaning or purpose in it we simply seek Him and trust. Because He knows what’s next when we have no clue, He sees what we cannot see, He understands things that are outside of our earthly comprehension, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways –they are higher.
Whatever you are preparing for currently or whatever you may be preparing in the future, my prayer for each of us today is that before we take another step into that moment that we first fall on our faces in restful prayer, and submission to our Savior, redeemer, and sustainer.
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