Woman’s Devotional for Power to Change
By Donna Mitchell
“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’” (Luke 22:39-46)
When we hear stories of people enduring through impossible circumstances, I wonder if we understand what “endurance” feels like. Do we realize that it can feel lousy, hard, and painful – and do we then conclude that given the option, we would rather not? There is rarely a euphoric feeling that comes over us to numb all of the pain and discomfort.
A friend of mine spent years overseas, and on a variety of ministry trips, she stayed in bat-infested tents. Upon her arrival home, she told her congregation about what she and her colleagues had endured in order to share Jesus. After the service, a woman approached her and declared, “I would never be able to do what you do – I hate bats!” The assumption made my friend laugh. She hated bats too, but through the discomfort, she endured!
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed and agonized over His impending suffering. This revelation perplexed me. The presence of the angel strengthening Jesus did not eliminate or decrease His anguish. He still prayed and sweat drops of blood. In my mind, the presence of an angel would have taken away the pain – but it did not. Jesus willingly resolved to endure, regardless of the pain.
In times of distress, calamity, suffering, or immense discomfort, the Lord gives us grace and strength – but often, it doesn’t “feel” like it. The grace to go through the valley or walk through the difficulty does not suggest there will be no pain. Remember what Jesus endured and what believers all over the world are enduring to make Him known. May the Lord give you the strength to endure no matter where He has placed you – despite the pain that often accompanies endurance.
Lord, help me persevere, give me strength to endure and eyes that are fixed on you in the midst of struggle. Thank you that in the Garden of Gethsemane you CHOSE to go to the cross for me – despite the pain. I love you! Amen.
Question: How can you willingly endure in your current circumstances?
Learn more in these Women’s Devotionals for Power to Change.