Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Garden Or A Place Of Testing?

This is the garden of Gethsemane. Olive trees thousands of years old frame a place of surpassing beauty, against which was placed the rawness of Jesus' struggle between His humanity and His calling.

I can't relate to the agony he suffered. Literally sweating drops of blood, a condition called hematohidrosis, Jesus was pushed to the edge and remained His Father's Son, saying "not my will, but yours." He knew the weight of the sins of the world would soon rest upon Him. He did not fail the test.

It's hard right now for me. Those of you who have arrived here by searching for "a pastor's life" or "life of a pastor" need to know that while many times the life of a pastor is suffused with joy, there are times,like this one, that try men's souls, to borrow a phrase. When it happens, you have to double down on those things that feed your faith and minimize those that don't. Sounds simple. But life is filled with complexity today and trying to practice those spiritual disciplines can be exceedingly difficult.

And yet without them, without a focus on opening your heart and mind to the grace of God, you become less - less compassionate, less loving, less forgiving... less.

So I kneel tonight in the garden, asking my Father for His strength in this challenging time. Pray for me.

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