I had prayed. I prayed a lot. And I still found myself in a constant state of fatigue. Ironically, as I worked on writing about passion for God, I struggled to care about much of anything besides a bag of cheese flavored potato chips and a nap. I wanted to check out, to cancel every responsibility until the baby was born, as if time and energy would be of abundance then.
Amid the fatigue, one day I was washing dishes when a new song came on my Amazon station. The lyrics to “Yes, I Will” by Vertical Worship sang:
“Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley; Yes I will, bless Your name; Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy; All my days, oh yes I will”
I was so convicted of how little it took for me to wimp out and want to throw in the towel on everything. My original logic had led me to believe that since I was tired and God wasn’t giving me energy, I should just walk away from it all. In essence – this is hard, so I’m out.
But whether we are in low valleys, on high mountain peaks, on couches napping or anywhere in between, our response should still be the same: worship. God very well might call us to seasons of rest or to let go of certain responsibilities. But as a follower of Christ, our job is that simple – to follow. We continue in whatever God calls us to, not because he cares about our performance or desires mindless obedience, but simply because we know He is worthy. He can be trusted. His way is best, and He hasn’t left us to walk the path alone.
Jesus lived his entire life this way. He had the hardest, most excruciating job ever requested of someone, an assignment drastically more unfair than any other. And so he does what anyone would do. He asks God to take it away. “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” Three times Jesus prays this. And three times, there is no recorded response from God. Maybe God told Jesus no, maybe the silence was indication enough, but what Jesus says next is exactly what the anthem of my whole life should be: “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
Father, if it is possible for me to have my way, please fix this. Please take this away. But if not, I will do as you’ve asked.
Before he even begins his prayer, Jesus falls with his face to the ground. He puts himself into a physical posture of worship, a position of complete submission. He was already committed to faithfully walking in whatever path the Father had for him.
God is completely capable of answering our prayers for things to go a certain way. He may do it, and he may have a different plan. I’ve witnessed both. But regardless of his answer to our prayers, our response should always be worship, obedience. Because what matters is God. His glory. He is always with us, and his character is always constant. We don’t have to feel passionate to praise. Worship is always possible, because God has already extended his great love.
Read: Matthew 26:36-46
Stepping In: How does it make you feel to consider Jesus anguished, distressed and filled with grief? What do you think of his attitude in verse 46, “Up, let’s be going”?
Journeying Further: What does this passage teach you about prayer? How can you strengthen other believers to pray for God’s will to be done and walk away with an attitude of “let’s be going” (vs 46)?