Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Matthew 14:22-23 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
Mark 14:35 Going a little farther , he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba Father,” he said, ” everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will but what you will.”
My most heartfelt cries to Jesus have come in my greatest seasons of desperation. I don’t use flowery language, I don’t waste time on repeating the same things over and over. They are usually short prayers, to the point, possibly demanding, often fueled by anger, or fear or frustration. Its real Beth showing up to a real God. It’s far from pretty but oh so effective.
Jesus told his disciples in both word and action that prayer was an absolute must. He woke up early to get alone with his father. He set boundaries with his people by sending them off ahead of him so he could pray. He invited his closest peers in to see his most vulnerable prayers when hours before his death on the cross he honestly asks God, “Can you take this cup from me?-”
Our all knowing God is all too aware of the burdens we are carrying. He sees our struggles and honestly has allowed them to come. The purpose of life’s challenges are fulfilled when we are driven straight to Jesus – before we get all prettied up, before we think of the best words, before we know the answers….he wants us to give it ALL to him. There is no greater evidence of faith and trust in a relationship than when you show up in your yuck, you authentic real self and lay it all out.
Many years ago I found myself in a heap on my sons bedroom floor. I had just returned from his room in ICU where he was daily getting worse from an unknown illness. Three steps in and I felt a literal punch to my gut and I crumpled onto the carpet. “Would he ever sleep in his bed again?” I was mad, scared, frustrated. I believed 100% in a healing God but why did it feel like he wasn’t answering. I cried out to God with the most real, raw, ugly, honest prayer I have ever lifted up to him. I wept, I prayed…. and it was then… when I had been my most real…
That Jesus became most real to me.
Never in my life had I felt his presence so closely. Never in my life had I been so convinced of the reality of his existence. When I emptied Real Beth onto the carpet I had space for all of my REAL GOD. As long as I kept carrying my burdens I wasn’t leaving space for Jesus. I was essentially saying – I’m fine, I got this. l’ll let you know when I need you.
Are you there yet? Ready to get REAL with Jesus. Ready to dump it all. Ready to bring all your authentic questions, valid frustrations, unmet expectations to your Jesus?? A big part of me believes that in this lingering season where we don’t see an immediate end in sight that Jesus is waiting patiently for these real requests. As each day passes and our challenges may feel like they are getting bigger – he is waiting.
He is waiting.
He is waiting.
Will you come?
Loving you where you are. Pointing you forward to where He is.