“… Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” Luke 22:42
Jesus did not encourage himself as he was at his lowest point in life. In Gethsemane, the place of an oil press, his human anxieties and fears came to the surface. His good friends failed to keep watch while he prayed in a posture of complete humiliation. Surely this man who was able to give sight to the blind, cause the lame to walk, the mute to speak, drive out demons, cure leprosy and hemorrhages, and even raise a dead man to life should have been able to speak something to his mind to pick up his spirits. Did he not speak the word from the written text to overcome the tempter? Why couldn’t he have found a scripture to give him joy in the midst of his agony?
True faith has not as much to do with an uplifted spirit as it does a “nevertheless” spirit. While an uplift may seem desirable (as it is a good thing), it often proves temporary as the natural law states, “what comes up must come down.” Those whose faith is built on such fluctuations of cheer and despair run the risk of having an eroded soul. The tides of life take away from their sense of internal stability.
The “nevertheless” spirit goes forward despite what ever storm may arise or tribulation it will face. This spirit is also not distracted by the glories and pleasures of this world either. “Nevertheless” is a complete and total surrender to the Highest of Spirits in the belief that in it, there is something far more profound than anything to be experienced in the flesh.
As I go forward in this Fast of Great Lent, I do so not thinking of the pleasures that will be mine at the Feast of the Resurrection. Nor do I bemoan the things I will surrender as I place my spirit in control of my flesh. I go forward “nevertheless” that I am called to let the Father’s will be done.
The grace and mercy of the Lord be with us this day.