On the night of the Passover Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He knew what was coming. He knew of the great suffering that awaits him. In that hour our Lord was deeply grieved, to the point of death. And he fell on his face and cried out “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
During this year of pandemic, everyone has suffered greatly. As pastors I think we suffer greatly too in one way or another. We just don’t share our grief much, for fear of stumbling others.
I felt a great sense of loss, as many left the church due to political conflict. I felt despair for all the work that I put in but saw so little fruit, as people are passive in ministry and gripped by fear. I felt tired and worn out from ministry. A quiet desperation. More often than not I wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits, and find a normal job where there’s no expectations. This morning I find the words of Jesus resonating with my heart, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will.”
What can I say? This is how I feel right now. There’s a great battle within me. The desire to live a normal life without all the ministry pressures, and also the desire to press on and carry my cross, just like the Lord did.
Perhaps some of you feel the same way. We are battling ourselves. Today, and just today, all I can pray for myself, for you, and with you, together, is this: “Our Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from us, but not our will, but your will be done. Give us the strength and the grace to follow you faithfully to the end. Amen.”
Rev. KC Liu