Experiencing His Goodness by Brittany Tate

Experiencing His Goodness by Brittany Tate

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 26:39


I had read this verse hundreds of times before. This scene was talked about every Easter. Jesus, in the garden with His disciples, just hours before His arrest, and just hours before He would be beaten, scoured, mocked, bruised, and crucified for humanity’s sake. 

Yes, I had read it before, but this time when I read this verse, it spoke to me. It felt like God had kneeled down out of Heaven, His face to mine, and spoke those words right to my heart. 

It was the week of Easter, 2017, and I had just gotten devastating news. I was having a miscarriage. 

My husband and I spent the morning at the preschool with our children participating in their Field Day and Easter Egg Hunt. We were headed to lunch, but I couldn’t pull myself together enough to join them. I wanted to be alone.

I asked my husband to drop me off at the house before lunch. When I got home, I took a few steps through the door and fell with my face to the ground. I began sobbing and crying out to God, opening my heart to Him and telling Him all that was on my heart. I had spent all week praying for God not to allow this to happen. I trusted that He was Almighty and I wanted His healing. I knew He was capable of complete healing. I knew He was capable of saving my baby. 

But it didn’t happen that way. Instead, I sat there that Thursday before Easter overwhelmed with sorrow, collapsed on the ground, and crying out to God. And then, in complete confidence of whom I believed God to be, I asked Him for an answer. I asked Him to speak to me through His Word. I asked Him to speak so clearly to me that I wouldn’t be left trying to read between the lines.

I reached over for my Bible that was a few feet within my reach, placed it on my lap, and began reading the first verse that I could lay my eyes on. These were the words in front of me:

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. 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 26:36-39).

There it was. The scene that I had envisioned every Easter. And yet, this time, in this posture, in this place, the presence of God divinely intercepted His Holy Word and my desperate prayer in order to speak directly to my heart. As if to say, “My Child, I know your pain because I have felt it, too.” 

You see, this God that I serve, this Holy, Sovereign, and Mighty God came down from Heaven, wrapped Himself in human flesh, lived a perfect and sinless life here on earth, and was crucified in order to save us from the inescapable distance that was created between us because of sin. 

And although, in our eyes His death was unjustifiable, in His eyes it was the means by which His children are able to draw close to Him and experience His goodness and mercy. 

Because He walked this life in complete human form, being just as dependent as we are, suffering just as we do, we have a God we can fully turn to in our darkest moments and He promises to meet us there. 

In my moment of deep sorrow, I realized nearly 2,000 years ago almost on the exact same night, Jesus was in the same posture I was in at that moment. 

Going a little further He fell with His face to the ground.

Jesus knew what it was like to grieve just as I was grieving.

He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”

Jesus poured out His desires to the Father just like I was pouring out mine. 

He spoke, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Jesus relinquished His desires to put His trust in the Father no matter what. That was something I hadn’t done – trust. 

It’s a complex concept to put into practice. How was I going to trust that something as terrible as a miscarriage could ever be good? I couldn’t. But, I could trust that a good God could be good in all situations.

Deciding to trust God isn’t a “quick fix” promise that we’ll see good come out of the things we suffer here on earth. All too often, that can become the anthem of our hope. 

But, deciding to trust God is a promise that no matter what, God is in control of all things and He has made a way for us to experience His Sovereignty, mercy, and love even in our suffering. Trusting God allows us to experience His goodness despite our pain.

The more we experience God in those moments, the more we realize that He can be trusted – the more we are left in complete wonder and awe of His peace despite our circumstances. When we draw close to Him we are affected by His love.

Jesus suffered and died on earth. But that wasn’t the end of the story. He rose to life three days later, defeating death and opening up eternity for all of us.

And there lies the tension between our human experience and our divine purpose – eternity. 

Everything that we walk through in this life prepares us for our destiny. It breaks us from our sinful nature and brings us closer to God. It slowly weans our hearts of this world and prepares them for Heaven.

We’re not going to live in the suffering and pain of this earth for long. He promises us an eternity with no sorrow, no tears, and no suffering. An eternity where we experience His goodness and His Holiness up close and personal, without any hindrances. 

We have the promise of an eternal relationship with a Mighty and Sovereign God. 

So in that, I have learned to trust God with all that I face here on earth. I have learned to lean on Him and pour out my feelings and desires to Him because I know He understands. And, most importantly, I have learned to say, “Your ways are greater so, Lord, in all things, Your will be done.”


             -  Brittany

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Such a powerful testament to God’s grace. Very touching.

Kary Ogle

Brittany, thank you for your beautiful story. I love this passage to and pray through my hard times with it.

Deborah Rutherford

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