Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5
39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives.
40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,
42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
45 He . . . returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief.
Paul Anka wrote the lyrics for “My Way” in 1968. It was based upon a French song called “Comme d’habitude,” recorded by Claude Francois in 1967. Anka heard it in France and wrote “My Way” when he returned to New York.
Paul Anka gave it to Frank Sinatra, who recorded it on December 30, 1968.
It became the signature song for Frank Sinatra. Sinatra said in his later years it was “a Paul Anka pop hit which became a kind of national anthem.”
In the UK, this song entered the charts six times between 1970-1971 becoming the song with the longest stay on the chart.
In the UK, in 2005, a survey was performed by Co-Operative Funeral Care. It showed that “My Way” was the most requested one at funerals. Spokesman Phil Edwards said, “It has that timeless appeal – the words sum up what so many people feel about their lives and how they would like their loved ones to remember them.”
Each of the Father’s children has a decision to make. And it must be reaffirmed many times throughout our lives. The issue is simple: will it be His way or my way? Sadly we spend most of our time on planet Earth doing things that other people tell us to do or things that we want to do. We all strive for independence and freedom. There is something in our DNA that makes us want to say, “I did it my way.”
In the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus Christ anticipating the horror of His coming crucifixion and death and temporary separation from the Father, prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Humanly speaking, the Lord Jesus Christ would have preferred to not go to the cross. He certainly was not looking forward to the humiliation, torture, and anguish. Was He having second thoughts? Was He seeking to back out? I think not. His prayer shows His true humanity. Under similar conditions, it is probably true that most people would have similar thoughts and concerns.
He asked, if it were possible for Him not to go to the cross, that the Father make it so. He asked that the Father might take the cup from Him. Yet it was the ultimate purpose for which He came into the world. He was born to die on a cross of wood (Luke 22:42). The word cup is a metaphor, a figure of speech, for the suffering of the cross that the Lord Jesus Christ would soon face.
It is easy to miss, but upon careful inspection observe that Christ did not ask for His own way. Rather, He asked the Father, “if You will”, that is “if You decide so.” He was not asking “if you are willing to grant me what I want” (UBS). But He readily submitted to the Father’s eternal plan. He was committed to the Father’s will no matter what.
The Lord Jesus Christ simply submitted and surrendered to the Father all of His anguish and concerns.
REFLECT & PRAY
The Lord Jesus Christ showed us how to trust the Father God no matter what.
Father my flesh is weak, oh so very weak, but my spirit is willing. I want to repeatedly decide and say, “not my will but Yours be done.” Please make it so.
The apostle Matthew adds a detail that brings a bit of clarity to the matter. Why is it difficult for us to give up our way, for His Way?
Matthew 26:41 “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
That is it in a nutshell. We have the wishing, the willingness in our spirits, but we lack the follow-through because of our flesh.
We all want to do it “our way.” It is built into our fallen DNA. The Lord Jesus Christ prayed a prayer to His eternal Father in heaven. The request of the Lord Jesus Christ was real, but it was not answered. Think about that for a moment.
What do you suppose the Father was thinking at that moment? Surely it must’ve been something like, “Oh my dear, greatly beloved Son if only it could be so. But this is the eternal purpose that We have decided upon. And I know that You will see it through until the end. I will always have Your back. Your pain is My pain. But I am confident that victory will be won. You will indeed save Your people from their sins and make redemption available for all who will take it.”
When any of the Father’s children face terrible suffering, we should be certain that our Father can deliver us. But the decision is His. We need to cultivate the attitude and heartfelt response, “Your will be done not mine.” From the Father’s point of view, life’s setbacks and struggles are only preparation for what lies ahead.
“The Blood of the Martyrs Is the Seed of the Church” (Tertullian).
Perhaps each of us should write our own song with apologies to Paul Anka and Frank Sinatra.
And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I traveled each and every highway.
And more, much more than this, I did it Your way
Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption.
You planned each charted course.
Each careful step along the byway.
And more, much more than this, I did it Your way.
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it Your way.
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried; I’ve had my fill, my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing.
To think I did all that, and may I say, not in a shy way.
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it Your way!
For what is a man, what has he got? If not You, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels, and the words of one who kneels
The record shows, I took the blows, and did it Your way
Yes, it was Your way