I can’t believe my first-born child, Madison, will be leaving for college tomorrow! There aren’t enough words in the human vocabulary to express how much I love this child—I imagine most mothers can attest to my sentiments. I must admit, I wasn’t prepared for the wide range of emotions that have bombarded my soul and interrupted my sleep ALL week.
Memories and unsubstantiated scenarios have simultaneously played in my brain, almost none stop, and of course, interrupts my routine and, especially my sleep. Last night, I abruptly woke up around 3 am, and my first thought was of Madison. And as my pattern normally is, I get up, grab my robe, and go to my prayer closet. There, I pour my heart onto God’s listening ears ... and I know He hears me. Most importantly, He speaks specifically to my heart and confirms His thoughts as I read His Holy Word, the Bible. And YES, He responds back, quickly and very specifically. The beauty of my prayer time is that I leave in peace and with much assurance and with an open invitation to come back anytime, should I need to talk. I’ve needed to talk every day, lol.
Although nowhere near as excruciating, all of this reminds me of the time when Jesus was nearing the day of His crucifixion. The Bible says that He went to a place called Gethsemane, taking three of His disciples, and there, He prayed. The story goes on to say He instructed His disciples to “watch” while He went alone to pray. While in prayer, He poured His sorrowful heart out to God the Father regarding the difficult fate that awaited Him. Disappointingly, when He returned from prayer, He found the disciples asleep and not watching. What I find interesting is the fact that after He expressed His disappointment, He returned to prayer a second time, and then a third ... each time praying with every fiber of His being.
Jesus’s return to prayer was not due to a lack of faith in God’s perfect plan for Him, no; I believe He wrestled with the reality of what He would humanly face ... severe pain. He understood that His courage, ability to endure, and sober perspective could only come from His Heavenly Father, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. As humans, we wrestle with humanity. As for myself, I’m wrestling with releasing my treasured daughter to the world where she will discover and live the life God created for her, apart from me—for it’s the natural order of things. Like a good father, God understands my transition and reminds me that should I ever need to talk, no matter how often or the hour ... He’s here for me, just like He was there for Jesus those three times at the Garden of Gethsemane and gave Him the strength for the task that was before Him.
Today, I encourage you to keep talking to God in prayer because He hears you, will encourage you, and give you strength to face everything that lies ahead of you. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (Matthew 26:42-44 KJV)