I came across some words of Jesus that had never before caught my attention. In John 12, as Jesus is predicting his death to his closest followers, he rightly shows how we should view trouble: “Now, my heart is troubled,” he says, “and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I cam to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (27-28) Powerful words!
Jesus knew what it felt like to have a troubled heart. How many times has my heart felt this way? Before each of Sophie’s appointments and tests and diagnoses, or lack thereof. Through countless days of worry over her prognosis. After the hair-pulling has resumed and speech continues to be absent. My heart has felt troubled. How many times have I prayed “save me from this hour”? So many times. I’ve prayed that God would take away our difficulty, that he would enable Sophie to speak in a miraculous fashion. And he has chosen not to. Time (and much work of the Holy Spirit) has allowed me to see our situation differently. Rather than asking to be saved from our troubles, I can see that my prayer should be like Jesus’ prayer: Father, glorify your name. I can see that it is for this very reason that he brought us to this “hour,” to this place in life. There is much glory for the Father in the midst of this trouble.
What trouble are you facing? Are you asking the Father to save you from it? Or are you asking him to glorify himself through it? Either way, you will walk through the trial. But your viewpoint will be entirely different based upon which stance you choose. Pain must be walked through. It must be endured. There’s no way to get around it. But, like Jesus, we can see that God brought us to this place for a specific reason, and through it, we can bring glory to his name, if we choose to do so.
It is my utmost hope that Sophie’s story brings glory to the Father’s name. I want nothing more than for his name to be lifted high. Yes, there is always, always going to be a part of me that longs for “normal” for her. The night before his death, Jesus asked the Father again “Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36), so I believe it’s ok for me to continue asking for this cup to be taken. Yet, I temper that with a submission to his will above my own, in the knowledge that he is working for my good and for Sophie’s, and his plan is truly the best plan.
I hope in days ahead that even when my heart feels troubled, I can still resolve to pray first “Father, glorify your name” rather than “save me from this hour.” Maybe trouble comes not always from our own consequences or from the enemy. (Or even if it does, our opportunity is the same.) Maybe we should view our troubles differently. Maybe sometimes challenges come from God so that we are in a place to display his glory. But we can’t do that by running away or skirting the trial. We’ve got to go in head on, eyes on the horizon, looking for the Father to glorify himself, asking for him to glorify himself instead of always asking to be spared the pain, the struggle, the difficulty. Jesus’ hour, his own death, was not an easy one to accept. But he resolved that the Father was doing something good and glorious through it, and so he trusted the Father over his own feelings. I will resolve the same. Though our hour is not easy, I trust that my Father is doing good work.