‘And they all lived happily ever after…’ Has that nursery rhyme been your experience or does it remain the elusive ending to fictional ‘reality?’ Every week we hear of more individuals, families, churches, etc whose experience has evoked overwhelming sorrow. Our prayer list never seems to shorten and I find myself often singing, “I am not skilled to understand what God has willed, what God has planned…” There is a huge mystery to God’s providence, the ordering of life events by the Master Designer while we view the underside of tangled threads.
Praise God for His Son who suffered FOR us and suffers WITH us. In Mark 14:32-34 in the Garden of Gethsemane, Mark paints a graphic picture of the growing anguish in the soul and body of Jesus Christ.
‘They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him,and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; Hail th’ Incarnate Deity. We sing these words at Christmas as we join celebrating with ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’. Jesus is the One we worship. As we follow through the pages of His life story we come to the last night before His death. In less than 12 hours, He who knew no sin will be crucified to a cross as the innocent sacrifice.
He pleads for companionship and invites the group of followers to follow Him into this experience. Just ‘sit here’ while ‘I pray.’ Not a major assignment, but one which they will fail as a group of 8. Even the three others, privileged to go farther with Him, who witness this anguish will not succeed. They are so ‘willing’ and yet so weak.
…he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. The weight of the hour is great. The aloneness of anguish weighs on the very core of his being.
Let no one believe the lie of Satan that God doesn’t care, that He doesn’t understand. Hebrews 5:8 reminds us that he (Christ) learned obedience from what he suffered. Suffering is not purposeless in a random universe. We do NOT understand the purposes and plans of God through dark hours, but we may gain fresh confidence that He understands, that the prophet Isaiah was right when he anticipated the Sufering Servant would be “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” Let those who are overwhelmed with sorrow rest in this truth.