I wanted to define passion before writing this article. I went straight to the good old Webster’s Dictionary where passion is defined as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. I thought this is right on target.
Then, my eyes fell just two lines down on yet another definition that surprised me. The full definition of Passion: often capitalized; a: the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and His death.
This was not the definition about which I wanted to write. I wanted to write about my passion for women’s ministry and for being a Titus 2 example. But God’s plan didn’t come along side mine much less match my plans. Perhaps this time they are one and the same.
I cannot imagine the depth of the suffering Jesus endured before the cross and I will not pretend that I can.
Luke 22: 39-46 tells us a lot about ourselves as well as the disciples on that night in the garden:
“And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
All Jesus ask of the disciples was for them to stay awake while He prayed. And yet they could not complete this seemingly easy request.
Some nights I wake up after only a few hours of sleep. I have learned that God has a reason for waking me – so I can pray. I pray for my children, especially if one of the boys is on duty that night. I pray for family members one by one and others by name. I pray for the women’s ministry at our church and several other churches. Women’s ministry and ministering to women is my passion.
Some nights God will give me new idea for an event or program. I keep a notebook on the night stand so I can write things down because I usually don’t remember them the next day. My scribbling is also difficult to decipher the next day. God reveals himself to me during these ‘sleepless hours’. He will give me a verse or a subject to use for a devotion or blog post. This is always a special time for me to just be with my Heavenly Father. Some nights He is my “Abba Father” and I am his daughter sitting on my daddy’s lap telling him about my heart’s desire for my ministry. I know my burning passion is for women’s ministry because it runs deep within my soul. I know God called me into this ministry and I cannot imagine doing anything else.
Those of us who share Jesus and our hearts at My Journey of Faith Ministries are reaching thousands of people all over the world everyday via the Internet. This is possible because of the passion and dream of a very remarkable woman, Sandra Hardage. God gave Sandra a passion that is mirrored by twenty three other women who write for My Journey of Faith.
I give God the glory for all he has done, is doing and will do through not only my ministry but for the other women who have been called to serve through My Journey of Faith.
Would I have been the one who stayed awake as Jesus prayed? I like to think so. After all, Jesus has been there for me in the middle of many sleepless nights.