When life is hard where do you go? Who do you turn to?
Jesus is approaching his trial and subsequent death. When sorrow hits use the example of the final hours of Christ. He doesn’t just tell his friends to watch and pray, he does it. Matt 26 vs 36-41 has a few phrases that stand out.
“My soul is very sorrowful.”
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Sorrow can be a time of temptation.
How does Jesus fight it?
He fills his lungs and belts out a song. He sings.
And as he does he and the men still with him leave town for the surroundings of nature. So grab your iPod and head for the beach, the mountains, the river or wherever you find solace. He knows what it is to have pressure poured upon you beyond endurance. Yet he endures.
How? In Hebrews 12:2 it says “Jesus for the joy set before him endured.”
He goes to a location and prays. The weight of the immediate impact upon friends he loves “…you will all fall away on account of me,” the importance of his endurance for his future joy; these weights are lifted to the Father in prayer. His band of friends, their faces show the signs of sleep. His- the fullness of our sorrow, which has become his. Humanity is hurt. The grief of the mortal wound of man. Who is like Jesus? We fall in the fight for our life. He steps in. He intends to die and struggles to welcome it, yet welcomes it still. Why? For joy. There is joy ahead.
He physically relocates. Pulls away from the men. Then from the three. The only place to take his struggle is to a place of prayer. To believe death could be undone. The finality of the blow of death, the enemy of God erased. Sorrow swallowed whole by God himself.
The temptation is strong not to trust when sorrow like sea billows roll. Jesus shows you the only way is to watch and pray. Look to Christ. Pray to the Father. Confess your struggle and temptation. In doing this you locate the strength for the trial. The grace given strength to hold on.
Today, I encourage you to find a place where the landscape lends you peace. It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night. Take your struggle to God in prayer. Watch and pray.