Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 14:33 – [Jesus] took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. (NIV)
Like most folks, I try not to let things distress or disturb me, but when they do, my prayers are peppered with worries and anxieties, which make it difficult to focus on my problem or really ask God for help. As a pastor, I should know better, but as a human being, I suffer from the weaknesses and frailties that we all have as finite creatures. If my thoughts are scrambled because of stress, my prayers are full of moments when I feel as though I'm wrestling with God. Within my heart, I know that He truly loves me, but my mind shoots past that thought and heads out into the wide unknown where uncertainty and insecurity abide.
When I read about Christ's daunting prayer experience in the Garden of Gethsemane, I get it, and Jesus feels like a kindred spirit struggling with His humanity. It's obvious that He doesn't want to die or experience the torment that is about to befall Him. He's looking for a way out and clings to God, hoping to get some sort of reprieve. When it doesn't come, even after pleading three times with God, Christ accepts that there is no other way to save humanity. His struggle is over, and He agrees with God's decision. He surrenders Himself to His Father's will. His human spirit embraces His divine purpose, so the conflict is over.
Perhaps you're going through a tough time or some unhappy circumstances. Maybe you're stretched beyond your limits or you are having trouble trying to focus. Allow God into the midst of what you're struggling, and let Him help you to solve and overcome your issue. Remember that Jesus experienced something similar, and He knows all of your weaknesses and fears. Let Him heal you of all that harms you and help you through all that hinders you. It's what He does best; it's why we call Him "Saviour".
Points to ponder: What is hurting me right now? Am I willing to let Christ embrace me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, be with us now in the midst of all that we are presently experiencing. Be our constant Guide and loving Saviour. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.