I remember 21-year-old Naomi pretty fondly to be honest.
A zeal and an energy for the Lord which was unquenchable. I was a sponge and soaked in every sermon, book, Bible college lesson, conference and prophetic word like they were going out of fashion.
In many ways, I admire her ability to go against the grain and do what wasn’t exactly the norm for my peers at the time.
Maybe it’s 10 years passing, maybe it’s cynicism or maybe it’s facing the REALITY of the claims I made back then. But sometimes I wonder what she would say if she saw me now and I get a little embarrassed.
Because oftentimes I wonder whether my desire for comfort trumps calling.
And then I’m reminded of what I believe to be one of the most powerful words Jesus ever spoke and am humbled.
Sweating drops of blood, staring straight ahead at a fate which He already knew was His, and yet He asked.
“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…”
It’s not as if His life had been easy before, but it hadn’t been as hard as this. With this one simple prayer, He asks for safety, comfort & permission to go back to what was familiar.
How many of our prayers stop there? With requests for trial to disappear and our will to be front and centre?
I know mine have at times. But He goes on…
“… NEVERTHELESS, not as I will, but as you will.”
The word that changes everything. The word which says I’ll follow even when it’s hard and things don’t seem to be going my way. The word which says I’ll follow because I trust that you know what’s going on here far better than I do.
Now don’t hear what I’m NOT saying. Don’t feel as though I’m suggesting that God is essentially a huge killjoy and that anything which we’d LIKE (in terms of earthly wealth and health etc) is not something He’s willing to give. That’s simply not true. Quite frankly, God can do as He pleases.
But DO hear my question which comes with it…
Would we be willing to fogo those things IF that’s what was required? Trusting that Father God knows better than we do.
I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly glad that Jesus was willing.
Jesus spent TIME with the Father. He knew Him. He would often prioritise withdrawing from a crowd to pray over being the centre of attention people wanted Him to be.
Some argue that because Jesus technically already knew what was going on, it softened the blow of suffering. But if that were the case, why would He have STILL taken time to plead with the Father that His fate look different?
May we have the strength and courage to say ‘nevertheless’ if that’s what we need to say, trusting that our loving Heavenly Father really does know best.
“…for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)