Below is a blog that Aaron wrote two years ago when his Dad was in the midst of his battle with cancer. I left the words untouched as it was written so sweetly by a young man watching his Father walk a painful, yet God-filled journey.
There's a story in the gospel of Matthew that gets me more than any other story that I know in the Bible. Jesus goes with his disciples the night before his crucifixion to the garden of Gesthemane to pray to his Father in heaven, and as he walks with Peter, James, and John, he tells them that his "soul feels sorrowful" (Mtw. 26:37-38). When he falls before the Lord in prayer, we see, not a joyful exultation, but a prayer that we, as beings of the flesh, can understand more than any other. Jesus knows what is about to come for him: the pain, the anguish, the weight of the world's sin upon his holy shoulders. He calls to his Father, broken, and afraid, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." The Bible tells us that he said this prayer three times. (Mtw. 26:39, 42, 44).
God's plans are not always easy, and on this Father's day, I have a special admiration for my dad and the way in which he walks along the rather difficult path that the Lord has set before him. Though some days are more difficult than others, I think we're blessed to understand that the pain God's people experience isn't purposeless. I hope that this Father's Day, that not only my dad, but everyone who experiences the frustration at circumstances that seem unfair, frightening, overwhelming, can remember that there is a Heavenly Father who has a plan for the pain. I thank my dad so much for constantly reminding me of that insurance in this often unsteady life.
For all of us, life is often filled with prayers, begging God to "take this cup" from us. We're all made to walk on our own way of suffering, bearing our own crosses, and sometimes seeing no end in sight. Time after time we walk this path, the cross seeming to heavy to bear. But time after time, we reach the end and find not emptiness on the hill, but Jesus, already taking our place.