Saying, Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me: NEVERTHELESS, not my will, but yours be done.
Have you ever despised a job? Like really despised a job, so much that it would become mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically impossible for you to go to work everyday. I had a job that I hated for about 6 months and every day I would pray for a fender bender so that I would have an excuse to miss work. I know, sad but true. Not a major wreck, but a fender bender that would allow me to miss a few days of work, giving me a reprieve.
My boss was a mad woman who hated Christianity and anything associated with it; my subordinates were all very young and stayed in trouble all the time. Every morning, I woke up trying to figure out how I could get out of going to work.
I was miserable. I wanted to be done and over with this job NOW. My aunt called me one day and told me she had a book for me to read. It was called The Prayer of Jesus. She told me that it would literally change my life. Anything that could change my life was welcome! She gave me the book and I remember reading the scripture above. What stood out in the scripture was the word, NEVERTHELESS.
I decided to pray the prayer of Jesus about my job, so my prayer was “Lord, please give me another job; if there is ANYWHERE else that you would rather I would be, send me there, but NEVERTHELESS if this is where you want me to be, give me the strength to be here.” That was it. That was the prayer that I prayed over 17 years ago.
Until I read that book and studied the verse, I really didn’t understand the prayer. Now I realize that the scripture - that prayer, allows us to see the man and the deity of Jesus Christ. The man in him, said “Father please take this cup from me”. I can’t imagine, facing death on a cross and knowing the “why” - It would create salvation, but also knowing that it would be the most painful, humiliating price to pay for sins that you didn’t commit. And yet the deity, the savior, in an instant says, NEVERTHELESS… translated it means… In Spite Of, Yet, Though, In Any Event, Come what may, it’s not my will, but it’s your will.
That’s a place of total surrender. Of being FULLY persuaded that come what may, it is what it is, and I will do whatever I have to do. Do you have a NEVERTHELESS situation in your life? You know where you are in a place or a position that God has called you to, but your carnal man is screaming, please take this cup away from me! Please take this burden away from me! Even though, it’s for the greater good, I just can’t do it.
I am so happy that Jesus was real and transparent in that moment. It has taught me a valuable lesson. We all have struggles and face situations and circumstances that we just want to go away, even Jesus, the lover of our souls struggled for a brief moment with His assignment. However, it’s so significantly important to offer a NEVERTHELESS in that moment. God knows best. In my situation, He gave me another job. Literally two days after praying that prayer, I received a call for an interview and I have never looked back. With his death, Jesus created salvation. All because He offered a NEVERTHELESS prayer.
I will never forget the day my mother died. I prayed fervently for God to save my mom and keep her on earth with me and my sister. In the quiet early morning hours of February 25, 2001, God answered, “no”, in His still sweet sovereign voice. I remember initially crying in anguish and pain, but then, like Jesus as He accepted His fate on the cross, the NEVERTHELESS prayer happened… “not my will, but yours be done.” As I sat at my mom’s bedside, I prayed that God would receive my mother’s spirit and give her soul rest. Nevertheless…
I am sure some of you are facing some NEVERTHELESS moments, seasons, circumstances and you are praying that God would remove the cup. I implore you to offer a nevertheless prayer. One thing that I do know is that God loves you. He wants you to trust him with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), and He will direct your paths. Today, lean in, trust, give God your NEVERTHELESS, and remember you are Loved and Forgiven. Live in the Red!