40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
What I loved most about this verse and when I did not notice in times that I read it in the past is that in verse 43, it says an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened him. And then right after him 44 It says and beams in anguished, so it was right after he was filled with strength. He was still in anguish, and when you look at the definition of anguish, it is severe mental or physical pain or suffering. And it reminds me, and it paints a picture of all the times in which we can be filled with strength, the strength of the Lord, and still also be walking in pain. And I don’t know if that is the season you are currently in, for I’m sure that we can all recognize a season in life in which we were filled with the strength of the Lord and yet still facing the pain of the season that we are in.
In my sense, my dad is currently in the facility where we dropped him off in January. He suffers from a substance abuse addiction, and so it’s been about two months. It was a really heavy 10 years, so this was the breaking point. We had tried to get him to help many times in the past and this year in December. If you are with me, you’re hearing my anguish, and it was a tough time. And I had to make the decision to sell the house that my grandfather was living in to remove him from my Father because he was no longer safe. And I also had to make the decision to drop my dad off at this shelter that had a substance abuse program. It was a Christian shelter, and God was really in the middle of all of that. Anyways, I have taken the last two months and a half to really heal myself from all of this heavy, heavy season. These last 10 years have been heavy for me. And so I decided that it was best for me to just separate myself and allow him to get healed and for God to continue to pray after him and look over him and watch over him while I did the same for myself. And so yesterday, I touched base with one of the counselors that helped me get my dad into this facility. And he let me know that he’s doing a lot better. He was breaking down crying.
And he understood the power of this moment, the moment that he can choose to change his life, and I’m hopeful that it will be a happily ever after ending because I know that our God is stronger and he was a miracle worker. And this is all to bring back to the fact that I have or have been walking through strength over the last ten years as my family battled this addiction in the home, but at the same time, it was a season full of anguish and can still be a season full of anguish and full of pain. And so I recognize that we can be filled with both, and I thank Jesus for what he did on the cross. And for the example that he set before us so that when we go through these heavy seasons, we know that he too felt the pain that we feel when we walk through heavy seasons, whether that’s a sickness in the body sickness in the mind or sickness in the family, whether that’s a tough season financially or relationally. So I just am thankful for a father who comes down from heaven and shows us that it’s okay to be full of pain but also full of strength, the strength of the Father.
Father God, we love you so much, and we thank you for sending us your one and only Son, Jesus. Lord, we thank you for the position of strength that you take but also for feeling the anguish and feeling the pain. It makes it so much more real. We thank you for setting the example. Thank you for leading the way; we honor you today and every day. And we ask that you bless the day ahead of us. We ask that you bless the seasons of pain that have happened and will happen because this is a fallen world. But we look to you for the strength to walk through each and every day. We love you so much, and we pray this all in your holy name. Amen.