This weekend I read Hebrews 5, in the regular course of things, and paused long over verses 7-8. They were the subject of my thoughts all weekend. I turned the pages back to those verses again and again. Hebrews 5 says, speaking of Jesus Christ,
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.Do you, like me, have prayers God does not seem answer? The old Sunday School lesson tells us God answers "yes, wait, and no;" it may be true but isn't always very comforting when you are waiting through a long no. Here is Christ praying with prayers and tears, and He was heard. The Bible is clear. He was heard. But Jesus did suffer, did die, did endure the wrath of the Father. Only then, as one commentator pointed out, was His prayer answered, God did not abandon Him to the grave. Christ prayed, and died, and learned obedience from the things which He suffered. (There are a whole host of theological questions here I would not dare to answer, I'm just working from the words in the text.)
Am I above my Savior? When I pray and am heard, am I willing to learn obedience through suffering both slight and great? I often struggle with God, praying again and again, over my trifling difficulties. I don't want Christ-likeness, I want visible answers and I want them now. My Sovereign God wants obedience.
As Spurgeon says I am more like a crying, fretting, rebelling child. God desires my prayers, He desires all wishes laid at Jesus' feet, He hears. And He desires me to say, "Not my will, but Yours be done."
We cannot say, with David, “My soul is even as a weaned child.” Many of us are more like a weaning child, crying, fretting, rebelling. We have not laid all our wishes at Jesus’ feet and said to Him, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” But it is essential that we should come to this point—we would not be fit for Heaven if we did not, for all the spirits before the Throne of God bow submissively to the will of God. They have neither wish nor desire apart from God’s will. They have no wandering ambitions, no selfish aims. Their every thought is brought into captivity to the will of God. Let us pray for this— “Your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. And let it be done in our hearts, good Lord, or else we shall never be fit to enter there.
*C.H. Spurgeon, The Education of the Sons of God