From the Pastor’s Pen:
“And going a
he fell on his
face and prayed, saying,
if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me;
not as I will,
but as you will.’”
Every decision reflects the decider. When a plethora of possibilities are placed before a person, an individual decision speaks volumes about the condition of their heart. For example - every morning, I wake up and choose the same color shirt and the same breakfast out of a dozen different possibilities because my heart gravitates to efficiency. This is easy enough when applied to one another, but what of God?
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus makes a helpful distinction between God’s absolute and ordained power. Does God have the power to do anything He wants? Absolutely! Hence, we refer to this as God’s absolute power. If God wanted to create a thousand worlds in the blink of an eye, He could. As Nebuchadnezzar said: “God does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to him, “What have You done?” (Dan. 4:35) But out of the infinite options available to God, God ordained or chose to do one particular thing - God’s ordained power. In this instance, God ordained to let His Son drink the cup of wrath on the behalf of sinners. Jesus saw in God’s decision the powerful, wise, and good intention of our heavenly Father.
Now, how does this affect us? How does this change our Christian life? God can do anything, yet He has ordained the world as it is with all the hardships and suffering of which make the warp and woof of our daily life. In our grief, we grow bitter toward God; in our suffering, we grow angry; in questions, we grow doubtful. “God, why didn’t you spare me?” “God, why didn’t you heal her?” “God, why didn’t you?” Our God who is “of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He” allowed our lives to travel this particular path out of an infinite number of options. Faith calls us to submit to the wisdom, power, and goodness of our all-seeing Lord, to trust Him in whatever situation we find ourselves in. As the ol’ hymn sang:
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
he never will deceive me;
he leads me by the proper path;
I know he will not leave me.
I take, content, what he hath sent;
his hand can turn my griefs away,
and patiently I wait his day.