A LITTLE FARTHER
I have a confession to make. I almost quit this week. Well, I should say, almost quit multiple times. This has been a very hard week for me. Not physically, necessarily, but rather emotionally. I am done. I have said this before, but, it seems that this time it means something more. I don’t know what has made the difference other than the fact that I am tired. I am tired of being in pain, tired of having all my favorite foods taken
away from me, tired of having life be so hard at times. Ugh.
Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed. Matthew 26:39
I was complaining to the Lord last Sunday, and I was reaching out in hurt to Him. I was just putting it before Him, because there really is no other place I can take it. And I am not doing that very well either. It seems that I take it back more often than releasing it. Well, as I was barely holding myself together on Sunday, a very dear friend caught me.
She sent me to her office and there I sat waiting for her to come back. When she did, I just let loose. And do you know what? It was a good thing. It was hard, but a good thing because with her I was safe. She understood. And she did not let me stay in that place. She chose words that speak life. She pointed me to Jesus. She prayed over me, she loved me, she allowed me to be Kerry, a broken, wretched sinner. After I left her, I wiped off the mascara and headed to Sunday School. I had to pull it together. It helps to have a distraction at times, because I was a mess inside. Rather raw. I got to
church and this is where God really would not let go. Every song, every verse spoken, was for me. I was a mess. I knew He heard my cry and He was answering me. He was ministering to me in a language that I can understand – His Word and music. Then there was a prayer time afterwards and He asked me to stand for prayer. I did not want to, but He asked me if I would. He asked me to stand so others could practice their
gifts. It was healing.
On Monday, I read the above verse. My Jesus was in AGONY when He went a little farther. He had just had His last supper with the boys. He had washed their feet. He had shared the bread with the one who was going to betray Him that night. And, He knew what was ahead of Him. The Cross. That was the ultimate act of sacrifice. To have His Father turn His face away from His Son, was just about more than He could
bear. So, He went a little farther. He needed to spend time with His Father. In all the agony, He still had prayer. He had a safe place to go. And He prayed. He asked for light in the situation because it was black. Black as night. Black with sin. My sin. He needed the Father more than anything. And so, He reached out in agony and He found solace. Do you know what He said after He went a little farther?
“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
He did ask for release from the cup of suffering. He asked for a way out. He knew the price was extreme and He wanted the Father to do it another way. I can relate. Now, I am in no way comparing my problems to the Cross, but I can relate to wanting a way out. To wanting an easier way. To not wanting to have a death. In my case, it would be a death of myself. My selfish desires. My life free of pain and suffering. I have asked the Father this before, but it was before. Now is now. And it is much more difficult. I am in the storm and it is fierce. It is raging. I am holding on to the rigging and my
hands are slipping. I am tired, hurting, lonely, and done.
Jesus is asking me to go a little farther. Will I?
Remember what I said at the beginning of this post? I said this has been the worst week. And it has been. I am really in no better shape than I was on Sunday. I am pretty weak. I am struggling. But, I read these words and I see His example and I need to re-evaluate my life.
Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6
Ouch. I painted a picture for someone today and I wrote that verse on it. I would not put something that direct on a note, but I felt led to, and she is a person who really loves Jesus and does walk closely to Him. I think the reason my eyes were drawn to that verse was for me. I needed to lift me eyes off of my circumstances and put them back on Jesus. I have a very good example of Jesus going a little farther. I can do the same. I really can. Because, it is not me after all. It is Jesus living inside of me. He is the One who has given me faith (Hebrews 12:2) and it is He that is finishing that faith. He is the One who is making me more like Him (Philippians 1:6). And He is faithful and He will complete what He has started. I do claim to live in Him. I do claim to love Him.
Do you know what? I celebrated 37 years with Jesus on August 19. And I just passed another month with my affliction – so now I am 3 years, 9 months into this. No surprise that I would be engaged in a battle royal. No surprise that my enemy would be trying everything in his arsenal to get me distracted and keep my eyes off of Jesus.
One question was posed to me this week that I have been mulling around in my mind. What one thing do I struggle with in my walk with Jesus? It’s waiting. It’s time. It’s allowing Him to be Sovereign in my life. It’s dying to myself and saying that God is Sovereign in my heart and not just in my head. And that is hard. I had to pull up Michael W. Smith’s song, Sovereign Over Us and listen to it. Then I pulled up Shane and Shane and listened to Though You Slay Me. Music ministers to me deep to my core. It’s the Bible and music that speaks to this one. And the problem is that I have not been allowing the Bible to reach down all the way. I have been studying and going before Him, but I think I have been leaving early. I have not gone a little farther. I have
not gone all the way.
So He left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Matthew 26:44
This is what He said the second time: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” (verse 42) Now, I have to be real here. If I claim to live in Jesus, I must go a little farther. I don’t like these words any more than the next person, but they are words that I must say. I need to be the living sacrifice He has wanted me to be all along. I have got to lay myself down and let Him be Sovereign. Just in case you are wondering what that word means, it means being in charge, fully knowing what is best for someone/something. I have got to give up trying to be in charge of my life.
And I do.
I love You, Jesus, more.