Black to Back
JESUS IS THE MODEL FOR HANDLING GLOOM for a Christian. He is our model for what we should do when life begins to feel “black”. What did Jesus do when he had feelings of dread, sorrow, and hurt? How did he get back to peace?
The most difficult time of Jesus’ life was in the events of his crucifixion. In his own words, it overwhelmed him with sorrow (Mark 14:34). How did he handle it?
When things got black for Jesus he renewed an understanding and a commitment. Just before his arrest Jesus affirmed two things, in prayer, until the truth of those things filled his heart with assurance. He also expressed acceptance of something until he truly accepted it. It is very clear in all accounts that he began his prayer in agony but ended it in peace. His prayer is the key to going from black, back to peace.
This is what Jesus prayed: “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36) Jesus begins by acknowledging that God is his Father and then he acknowledged the absolute, governing power of his Father. Finally, he accepted whatever his sovereign Father might will for him. In difficult times we won’t have peace unless we do the same.
It seems from the text that Jesus prayed three times and for about an hour each time. In other words, he “prayed through” as Christians used to say. He didn’t stop praying until he had full assurance that God was his Father and therefore could be trusted to care for him and love him. He prayed until he was sure that God was in absolute control and directing everything to a good purpose. And he prayed until he had genuinely accepted whatever God permitted.
Sometimes we too will have to “pray through” on these themes if we are to go from black to back. It may even take three hours of earnest prayer.