Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hosanna Loud Hosanna"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 26:38 – He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." (NLT)
Sorrow can be a bitter pill to swallow, and I felt as if I were being swallowed by it.
Days stretched into months. An act of betrayal by another had turned my family inside out and headed it straight for dissolution. Though the situation could have been fixed, it wasn't, and the shadow of depression soon hung over my head like a thunderous cloud.
Unemployment followed on the heels of everything else that had disintegrated. Months passed as I sent out hundreds of applications to various places, looking for anything that would help me to support my family. Finally, a job opened, but the depression hung around. My outward appearance and actions seemed normal, but my insides churned.
Various trips to the emergency room for chest pains alerted my family doctor that something was wrong. "You're depressed. Take the medication I'm giving you, and stay out of the emergency room," he said. I followed his advice, and slowly, the depression receded.
One translation of today's verse has Jesus saying, "My soul is swallowed up in sorrow." I suppose that He felt that way. He was overwhelmed by what was ahead, but His disciples couldn't keep their eyes open to comfort Him. He felt alone — and that He was fighting the battle by Himself. And He was. They could not go to the cross and die for humanity's sins. Only a perfect person could. He wasn't sorry that He was doing it, but the weight of what was ahead had the power to swallow His soul in sorrow.
Situations that cause grief and intense sorrow aren't easy to face, but they are faced in a healthier way when others support us. Trying to face sorrow alone often leads to depression, whereas having a support system tends to ward off the dark clouds of depression. If Jesus needed companionship in His time of sorrow, I do, too.
Of course, my greatest support system is found in my relationship with Jesus. I can't physically experience Him with my senses, but His presence is felt through my spirit. This spirit-to-Spirit relationship surpasses anything that I might feel with my senses.
Don't try to face times of sorrow alone. Depend on God and godly people to help you through your trying times.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your presence and the presence of others when we face sorrowful times that want to swallow us up. Amen.