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September 8, 2008

Hitting the Wall

WHILE SERVING AS Vice President of Church Ministries of The C&MA in Colorado Springs, I observed a young couple that had left a very secure and lucrative job to come and work at the National Office. Within months, the wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They hit the wall! “Why did this happen
now—to us? Did we make a mistake? Did we really hear God’s call?”

Perhaps you have experienced a similar situation. You may have hit the wall of sickness, personal failure, financial reversal, wayward children or grandchildren, or some other wall not mentioned.

Our Lord Jesus Christ hit the wall in the Garden of
Gethsemene. In so doing, He taught us some valuable lessons:

• He acknowledged His feelings. He was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. He did not deny or cover up His feelings. As we hit the wall, we too must acknowledge and not hide our feelings before our heavenly Father.

• He shared with His friends. He told Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He asked them to stay with Him. Sharing the difficulty with our pastor or a close friend is important if we are to survive when we hit the wall.

• He turned to His Father in prayer. His cry, “If possible let this cup be taken from Me,” is as our prayer should be, a cry to God for relief.

• He expressed His faith. In Mark’s Gospel it is recorded that Jesus prefaced His cry for relief with “Everything is possible for You.” A strong faith in God is our only source of help when we hit the wall.

• He submitted to the Father’s will. “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” We will only survive as we allow God to be sovereign in our lives. When hitting the wall, follow the example of Jesus.

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:37-39)

(By Dr. R. Harold Mangham, Kissimmee, Florida, TFC Trustee, TFC Foundation. Taken from the book: Leaves From the Tree God Planted © 2006 by Toccoa Falls College, p. 30-31)