On Good Friday I’m thinking about the pain and suffering Jesus faced and the way He cried out to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane asking for what He knew was coming to pass; seeking His Father, but asking if there was another way; presenting His request, but obediently submitting to His Father’s will. Jesus knew His Father intimately and that He could trust His plans no matter the human cost, but He also knew what was coming-betrayal, beating almost to death, humiliation, ridicule, denial by His own disciple, crown of thorns, carrying His own cross, being nailed to that cross, carrying ALL the sins of mankind on His perfect, sinless soul and separation from His Father. This prayer is a reminder of the tension between human pain, suffering and loss contrasted with the desire to do the Father’s will. The way of the cross for Jesus “was chosen before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20) so that I could be reconciled with God and never be separated from His presence for ALL of eternity; not in this life, in death or in the afterlife. I am challenged as I bring my personal prayer requests to God to add, like Jesus showed me in the Garden, “not my will, but Yours be done.” It feels like a small, insignificant response compared to what my Savior did for me over 2,000 years ago. And with Jesus as an example, I know I can be strengthened through prayer (Luke 22:43) to take the next step the Father is asking of me and because of what Jesus did by defeating death and what He tells me about His return and eternity in the Bible, I can live abundantly no matter the circumstances I face today or in the future.