“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” – John 12:27-28
A few weeks ago I read over these verses in the Catechism. I’ve always loved these verses because they showcase Jesus’ humanity in a way that is completely relatable. In a way I can almost hear the sarcasm dripping from His words when He asks, “Yet what should I say? Father, save me from this hour?” Of course that isn’t the right response. Just because we are troubled doesn’t always mean that we need to be saved from that troubling hour. Perhaps what we need is to open our eyes and our hearts to why God is calling us to the troubling hour.
The truth is that I’ve turned to these verses a lot over the course of my life, but upon reading them a few weeks ago I understood them in a new light. I get troubled about the single life. My friends get troubled about the single life. When will our knight in shining armor appear? So often we get stuck praying, “Father, save me from this hour! This single life is lonely and sad and I am tired of watching all of my friends get married and have babies. When will it be my turn?”
That isn’t to say that the single life turns a person’s prayer life to whiny mush, but being single isn’t always easy. Sure, there are days that I’m incredibly grateful that I can sleep in and no one really cares that on my day off I watched an entire season of How I Met Your Mother whilst in my pajamas. There are days I’m grateful that I can pack a bag and take off to go visit another cathedral just because I feel like it. But there are also days that I want to share those experiences with that special someone. It is in those moments of feeling troubled about the single life that I can relate to Jesus’ prayer, “Father, save me from this hour!” But it is also in that troubled hour that I completely forget about the rest of Jesus’ prayer, “But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.”
“What purpose is that?”, you might ask. I’d be asking right there with you. I don’t know what the purpose of this single life is, but I know what purpose it serves: God’s. God is constantly preparing my heart to love, and hopefully to enter into marriage someday. He is healing my heart and restoring it to the glory He created it for. He is romancing me and leading me to fall more deeply in love with Him so that I may learn to love as He does. I don’t always know the purpose for the single life, but I do know that He has a purpose for it. He’s preparing me. He’s loving on me. He’s preparing my future spouse. He’s loving on my future spouse. Do I want to get in the way of that? Heck no. All that remains is to join my prayer to Jesus’, “Father, glorify your name.”