The garden. We have all been in the garden, haven’t we?
Jesus has been.
That place where we are burdened about something heavy. Burdened so heavily that we sometimes can’t even tell which end is up? Jesus knows that burden… ours in the ‘garden’ and the one that was His that day in the Garden of Gethsemane. We relate best to that very human side of Jesus. But I have experienced the Truth that as we relate to His very human side we can then relate on a deeper level to His very Godly side. We can understand the super-natural through the natural. He reaches right through the natural – our fleshly ways, our earthly ways, our human condition – and gently holds our hearts in His hands. If we let Him.
Feel the pounding of your heart as you sit in the garden crying out for help, for peace, for direction. The sweat pouring down your soul as the thing you are dealing with in life is screaming at you from every direction. Agony is knocking. But His hand… His gentle hand opens the door and with one Word Agony flees and Peace is all that is left. The God-hug is wrapping around your heart so that it is guarded. You feel the peace only He can give.
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. ~ Mark 14:33-41
My soul is tugged by these things:
Jesus prayed the same prayer not once but three times. ~ We should not feel wrong asking God for something in faith. He tells us to pray continually as long as we give thanks continually for His will in all things.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess 5:16-18
He fell to the ground. He prayed for one hour. ~
In Mark 14:33 the word for ‘distressed’ is ‘amazed’ (Young’s Literal Translation) and is actually translated as ‘sore(ly) amazed’ which means ‘shocking amazement, mingled with grief.’ And in Mark 14:34 the word ‘sorrowful’ implies He was surrounded with sorrow so much so that, as Luke reports, “His sweat became, as it were, great drops of blood falling upon the ground.” If Jesus, our Savior, prayed with such fervor, and even angst, then I believe He understands when we pray this way as well. As the burdens hang heavy so will our thoughts and words, but we should share them with Him for help and for peace. He also prayed for a whole hour… dedicated real-life time… to get to an answer. Shouldn’t we dedicate real time to prayer, to seeking God’s help? It is through this kind of honest and real prayer we draw peace from God.
He said He knew all things were possible for God, and asked the Father if the task could be avoided. Yet more importantly He asked that His Father’s will be done. ~ As we go to God with our request in faith, we need to also remember to ask and accept that His will, which is above ours, be done. He sees the bigger picture. His heart is for His friends, mankind, to be with Him for eternity, so the bigger picture is quite BIG. We must be willing to fall into that with complete trust. Not just sometimes… in every minute.
He cried out to His Father, Abba (Syrian for Father), in a tender child/parent kind of cry. ~ He was the Son of Man AND the Son of God. He needed His Father. We, too, need our Father who loves us unconditionally. We need to talk to Him with an expectation of tenderness and love, yet accept His direction – and when needed His discipline and instruction.
Jesus was greatly distressed and troubled to the point of death. ~ His prayer was said in such agony that the disciples heard it before falling asleep due to the sadness and grief. I have cried out to God loudly many times in my life, even before I trusted in God’s will completely. I knew He was there, holding me. Patiently waiting on me to surrender. He helped me every time, but not always in a way that I had hoped or even recognized. But He answered. If only I had given up my perceived control… that control I never really had over anything.
Our spirit can be willing to not fall to temptation, but Jesus says our body is weak. Our flesh. Our minds. Our desires. Our wants. They try to take over – especially when we want to control a situation because we think we have the best answer figured out. Our sight is limited. He gives us just enough Light. It is right where we need it.
If we truly want God’s will in our lives, we must determine in our hearts to love and serve Him. This will open a door for His blessings to pour over our lives. What better way than to pray as He prayed? Serve and follow inside the Light that is His love. Pray inside His love. He is listening. He is waiting for our surrender.
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.
If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. ~ John 12:26
Reach out. Grab His hands as they wrap around your heart. Let your pounding heart slow to a peaceful, lullaby – beating in accordance with His. Hug Him back.