> *And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” -Matthew 26:39 (NASB)*
Have you ever had really awful medicine?
My son recently had to take some very strong oral antibiotics, which smelled and tasted awful. So awful that he would retch it right back up…and I learned online that many kids react that way to this medicine. But, if he was to overcome his bacterial ear infections, he had to keep the medicine down.
On top of the bad taste, the medicine also caused other undesirable side effects on the other side of his digestive system. Oh boy.
Back when I was a child, I would’ve simply been told to take it and too bad that I didn’t like the taste. But I could see that God wanted me to use this medicine for a teachable moment. This was no time for “because I said so.”
I explained to him that sometimes the medicine we need most to heal doesn’t taste or feel good…but we could take it in obedience and trust in God’s plans for our growth and healing as a result. In the garden in Gesthemane, Jesus asked His Father if there was any other way but the cross to achieve what God needed done…but if there weren’t, then His will be done.
I found out that, as a parent, I could at least help by sweetening the medicine with chocolate or strawberry syrup, and that helped immensely with its consumption. On Jesus’ level, He knew that His sacrifice and obedience would yield the greatest reward and sweetest incentive of all: direct connection with our Father, forgiveness of our sins, and to live with Him forever once we would leave this world. By far, He took the toughest medicine of all, to heal and restore all of us.
In our day to day lives, that bitter medicine might be the very difficult conversation or confrontation we have to have. It might be kicking the habit we know we should do more to combat. It might persevering and seeing something very unpleasant through when our flesh would rather just throw in the towel. Whatever it is, God calls us to do the right–and righteous–thing by taking our medicine.
Obedience isn’t always fun…or tasty, but it yields rewards in this world and the next.