Isaiah 50:4-9 Psalm 70 Hebrews 12:1-3 John 13:21-32
Matthew 26:39 quotes Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” This
passage has always resonated with me. I was reminded of it when I read today’s passage from Isaiah about him being spat on, struck, and insulted. David also speaks in Psalm 70 about others who desire to hurt him, and David needing help. In John, Jesus seems to state so simply that His betrayal is coming. Growing up in church, we learned about Christians around the world being persecuted. We were challenged to prepare for any kind of persecution, although we knew it was unlikely many of us would face jail, physical injury, or death for our faith. With age, I’ve realized it is practically inevitable that each of us will face pain; it just isn’t usually as a direct result from other humans. I’m thankful that despite all our struggles, we have the Word to turn to for comfort, so we do “not grow weary or lose heart.” If Christ was able to endure “such hostility against himself from sinners,” may we also be able to “lay aside every weight…, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” The first time I read these passages, nothing seemed to touch me. Yet, the next morning I reread them, and they jumped off the page. We cannot let Satan or our sorrows cloud our ability to receive God’s message. As Rowena tenderly recites her favorite verse with emphasis and hand motions, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). Keep coming back to scripture and Our Father in prayer to soak your heart in God’s love.
– Lauren Thibodeaux