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And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.  Luke 22:39~44 ESV

IMG_2276 The full moon drops low behind me. I gaze ahead towards the morning sky.

Ponder the heaviness of this day. Maundy Thursday. Holy Thursday.

The sky bleeds red.

I seek the words of Luke.

They are my favorite words to sit with on this particular week. His words eloquent, poignant, pierce deep.

I’ve cried many tears in my five plus decades of living. These past months, they slide down my face often it seems. Tears drip through pain and overwhelming fatigue, they fade as I run my fingers over the God~breathed words…

his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground. 

Pale in comparison to the agony he must have felt.

My eyes drift closed. The clock measures time with soft gentle ticking. I put myself there.

Mathew Henry’s commentary suggest it was late at night, nearing bedtime. They made their way by the light of the full moon.

Clouds of the coming storm of anger, agony, ugliness, and death had been gathering for days.

I feel the air heavy, saturated in sorrow. A musky scent. Evening dew clinging to the ground.

Did the night go quiet, as our Lord and Savior knelt to pray? I imagine it that way. Hushed, as if holding its breath in anticipation and dread.

The three disciples he took with him, how they dropped off to sleep. An angel comes to strengthen him. They. Missed. It.

I would have been heart sick had it been me. Then I realize, how often I too fall asleep. Miss the glory of his work. The presence of his strength when leaned into the pain instead of him. How I breeze through life missing opportunities to show kindness, give grace, or love big. To bend down in prayer. Raise my hands in praise. To give a simple touch of comfort to a wearied soul.

How I complain and lament and stand unbendable before a God who yielded his all. Yielded it for me. Wonder how often I utter the words, “not my will, but yours be done?” Not. Enough. I much prefer a tidy list of all that needs to be fixed.

This day, Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, is not tidy at all.

It is the messy beautiful.The held breath…before the Breath of Life gives the gift of eternal life.

Lord, I pray today that my heart would be awakened to all you felt, all you gave for me. Pray that I would remember, give thanks for every pain I feel, every tear that slips down my face, as you felt it a hundred times more. Feel it even today. Awakened and pierced by the piercing of you…Amen 

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn

I’m linking up today with #ThoughtProvokingThursday 

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