“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow — to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me. Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.””
Matthew 26:36-39 HCSB
Why did Jesus ask the disciples to stay near while He prayed? Could it be Jesus wanted them to learn firsthand from Him how to struggle well through fear, anxiety and sorrow by taking it to the Father. From the Savior you and I learn it’s okay to plead with God to take away the tragedy and pain. But at the end of our request must come the submission, “Not my will, but Yours, Lord,” because the Father sees the full picture. Like you and me, Jesus learned obedience through suffering, and if we are to be like Him there will be suffering and struggle. Isn’t it good to know He is with us through it?
My friend Olga told me about her visit to the Garden of Gethsemane a couple of years ago. Far from the idyllic image of the Garden of Eden, the trees at Gethsemane are gnarled and rugged, as if they, like Jesus and you and me, have had to suffer. The next time you are in the midst of a battle, imagine yourself in the Garden with Him, struggling together.🚦
Photo credit goes to my dear friend Olga Brock.
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