Sunday, June 8, 2014

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
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: 36-46).

I must admit that blogging to people whose faces I can't see is not yet comfortable to me. I am learning the process and ask you to bear with me as I get used to this oddity.  
I've started reading and responding to adoption blogs, and this has opened my eyes to the tremendous amount of pain felt both by adopting parents as well as birth parents.  I've read entries written by young women who have endured repeated failed IVF procedures.  Their hopes of having a child have been raised and dashed over and over again.  One of these women then went through two adoption proceedings.  She and her husband were matched with birth mothers (2 subsequent times), decorated a nursery, excitedly bought furniture, toys and clothing, were thrown baby showers - only to encounter the decisions of both birth mothers to change their minds last minute and parent the babies themselves. 
In response to this woman, one blogger wrote harshly that no one should go into the adoption process without realistic expectations that the birth mother might change her mind. Birth mothers chimed in to share how difficult it is to know which couple can best raise their child and expressed the sadness they experience throughout the pregnancy carrying the knowledge that someone other than they will raise their child.  I am repeatedly reminded that I'm not alone in having endured  heart-wrenching waits and disappointments.  I am at a loss as to how to comfort these parents.
I'm reading Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest.  Today, the devotion I read is entitled: The Initiative Against Despair. Chambers begins with Matthew 26:46: Rise, let us be going.
Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane where he prays in preparation for what He knows will be a painful death.  He is emotionally distraught. He asks his disciples to wait with Him while he prays, yet, they fall asleep. When his disciples awaken, they realize they weren't available to comfort their teacher. Oswald Chambers writes, "The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say --'It is all up now, it is no use trying anymore.' And Jesus Christ comes and says---'Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost forever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.'" Chambers continues, "Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him....The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said -- "Arise and do the next thing." If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing?  To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption."
I cannot comfort the despairing women whose blogs I read, but I can pray that they will "Arise and do the next thing" leaning on their Savior and trusting in Him absolutely.

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