When my cousin’s daughter moved into her first apartment, she asked her father to make something for her new home. Her dad pulled out a furniture catalog with photos and told her to pick out something she liked. Her choice? A Shaker-style dresser for her bedroom. The photo showed a dresser made of dark cherry but the daughter asked her father to use a lighter color of wood, so he substituted oak for cherry. The dresser that he created is beautiful.
When Jesus prayed on his last night in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his Father if there was any way accomplish God’s plan of salvation other than dying on the cross.
According to Matthew 26:39-42, he prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.” But there was no alternative. No other option. Nothing could substitute for Christ’s own blood. Not blood from the ear of a servant, cut off by Peter in a sudden stroke of boldness. Not the death of a traitor named Judas. The only way to pay for our sins was through the death of the Son. Thus Jesus submitted to his Father and said, “If this cup cannot be taken away until I drink it, your will be done.”
We all face difficult decisions. We may know the right choice but the cost seems too high. Or the effort is too great. Or the task will take too long. So we look for another way out.
Instead of asking for another alternative, why not ask God for strength to do his will?
Lord, in the choices ahead of me today, grant me strength to choose not my way but your will.