“The experience that Jesus had in Gethsemane … is the experience of assent. The cup of suffering becomes the cup of strengthening. Whoever empties that cup has conquered all fear. The one who at the end returns from prayer to the sleeping disciples is a different person from the one who went off to pray. He is clear-eyed and awake; he trembles no longer. ‘It is enough; the hour has come. Rise, let us be going.’” Dorothee Soelle
“In that gruesome and interminable night, waiting revealed itself as a true ally, a bulwark against fear. And Jesus became the most radically free and dangerous man of all, the one who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing.” Kathleen Norris
“Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’” Matthew 26:45
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Suffering, waiting, assent – these activities transform us. When extreme suffering engulfs you, can you do what Jesus did and allow “the cup of suffering to become the cup of strengthening?”
- If Jesus sought out solitude and prayer in his darkest hour, if he needed to “return from prayer … a different person from the one who went off to pray”, is our need any less?
- Will you learn how to wait and give assent to God in prayer now, or hope to learn that when the hour of darkness comes? What practices can help you learn it now?
- Wouldn’t you like to be a “most radically free and dangerous man or woman … who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing?” Imagine where we would be if Jesus hadn’t been “radically free and dangerous.”
Abba, it’s your approval that counts, and if I have that, it’s all I need. Deliver me from my fears to be a radically free and dangerous man.
For More: Acedia And Me by Kathleen Norris
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)