I should have listened to my son’s knee surgeon. When the doctor told me to take care lifting my son’s movement and ice machines, he added, “You don’t want to find yourself in back surgery.” However, after weeks of heavy toting, picking up a dictionary from the floor was all it took to send me to bed for several weeks, unable to move.
I don’t have time for this, Lord, I prayed. I had a massive research project to finish and a month of business travels just weeks away. Additionally, I prayerwalked the streets of my little town, praying for the people and their needs. I needed to walk and pray.
Help me, Father. Take the pain away, so I can do these things you have set out for me.
But the pain did not diminish. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sit. I couldn’t even lift my head to read the Bible—a friend came every night to read to me. When my husband took me to the doctor a second time, he sent me straight to the hospital for surgery the next day. Two weeks later I could only walk to the corner and back. My heart was troubled.
Jesus was troubled, too, when he headed into Jerusalem. He knew he would be betrayed. He knew his friends would desert him. And he knew he would suffer on the cross. But his prayer was no help-me-save-me prayer, because there was purpose for his pain. Instead, Jesus asked that the Father’s name would be glorified.
Even though it’s hard to face the challenges in our lives, there is purpose in that pain. Others are watching to see how we face our struggles. Faith needs to make a difference, and praying that God is glorified through us is a Jesus prayer indeed. While we may not have a literal cross to bear, we can ask God to draw others to faith in Christ because of how we trust him in those valley times.