Posted: 23 Mar 2012 06:38 AM PDT
"Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour...for your sake, not for mine" (John 12:27, 30).
In this passage, Jesus is speaking about his own death. Jesus realizes that God has asked him to die so that he could rise from the dead and draw us to him. God called Jesus to do this for others. Clearly, saying yes to this terrifying challenge was not easy for Jesus.
Last year, my high school friend, Alice, called and told me that she had ovarian cancer. She asked for my prayers and emotional support. Last week, my stepsister called to say that her husband has late stage pancreatic cancer. Although she is a nonbeliever, I heard in her voice that she wanted my prayers. She seemed hungry for prayer. Yesterday a friend called to tell me about her troubles and asked me to pray for her. I prayed for each of them.
I believe God is calling me to stand by and support people with my strength and prayers. This is not easy for me. I would much rather solve their problems with my mind than with my heart and soul. I never want to dwell on troubles, either mine or other people's. I want to stay on the sunny side of life.
But lately, God has been telling me that I can't live in Easter all the time; I need to suffer in the Lenten wilderness with others and sometimes stand at the foot of their cross. I need to take on their burdens, pray for them, and help fill them with the hope of new life as others have done for me.
How can I say no when Jesus said yes?
Compassionate and loving God, have mercy on my loved ones. Make haste to help them, rescue them, and save them. Do your will in their lives. Amen.
Frances Katrishen, Marble prayer ministry volunteer