Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Mark 14:35-36

It’s interesting that Jesus can still call God, “Abba, Father,” considering what’s coming. After all, the cup that

He’s asking God to take from Him only involves…

Getting beat within an inch of His life.
Having thorns jammed into His skull.
Having the flesh ripped off His back.
Nails being driven through His body.
And bearing the wrath of His Father.

This doesn’t exactly sound like the kind of loving, protective person that you’d want to call, ‘father.’ Yet Jesus does.

I think it’s because Jesus knows His Father better than we do. He knows a truth we have to keep in mind if we don’t want to become jaded when we’re experiencing seasons of suffering and pain. And it’s even something all parents should keep in mind as well:

God is a protective father. But he’s not overprotective.

Overprotective fathers try to keep their children from ever getting hurt. They shield them from anything that could potentially harm them or bring them any measure of emotional distress. As a result, their children are ill-prepared for the realities of life. And the growth of their character is stunted.

While no parent likes to see their kids in pain – even when it’s a minor thing – any good parent knows that pain is unavoidable. It’s the soil in which the seed of anything good and lasting grows.

That alone would probably be enough, but God isn’t overprotective for yet another reason. He doesn’t just let us experience pain because it develops us. God allows His children to feel pain because He can use it for a purpose.

He allowed Joseph to spend over 13 years in slavery and prison so He could save a nation and His people.
He allowed the early church to be persecuted so the gospel would spread outside Jerusalem.
He allowed Jesus to take the cup and suffer for our salvation.

God is more concerned about preserving His purposes than preventing our pain. He’s not overprotective. But we also need to know that even our pain can be used for His purposes. And therefore be redeemed. He’s very protective.

That’s what made Jesus be able to say, “Not my will, but yours be done” in His darkest hour. It’s what makes you able to say it in your darkest hours, too.