He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.' Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 'Why are you sleeping?' he asked them. 'Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.' ~ Luke 22:39-46
I am working in Starbucks this morning and ran into a friend from church. I say friend, we know each other by name and have had a few conversations, but this morning was the first real-to-real talk we have ever had. It was a huge blessing.
John and his wife Stephanie lost their son Johnny this past fall. When I asked how they were doing he spoke of how this week brings hope knowing that his son had faith in the One who conquered death. We talked some more about the new normal for he and Stephanie as they face life with something no parent plans for.
John asked me how I was doing and I shared some things that Robin and I talked about even this morning. How we need clear direction from God as we wade through the sea of differing advice.
John and I had a great conversation about life, ministry and hearing from the Lord. John said something that struck me: "My prayer is that I don't fall asleep like the disciples." So here I am reading this passage again and on Good Friday.
It has always baffled me. It's like whenever something huge happens for the Lord, the disciples take a siesta. (See Transfiguration.) And when they think its a big deal, Jesus is taking a nap. Here they are snoozing at a critical time. They were exhausted from grief. (And he hadn't even been arrested or crucified yet.)
Do I? Am I? Am I asleep at the wheel/the watch? Am I just so busy doing my "Jesus thing", living my "Jesus life", running on my "Jesus work" hamster wheel, spouting my happy "Jesus talk"... when in reality I am asleep? Am I more concerned with own agenda than His? (Foolishly thinking its the same when I am too afraid to really ask if it is?)
Am I walking circumspectly? Am I watching? Am I listening? Am I praying or just talking to myself?
Am I like the rich man living in luxury who passed poor, sick Lazarus at his gate every day with so much as noticing him or bending a knee to address his needs? Do I notice? Do I care? Do I stop? Do I act?
Am I really in fact missing the heart of God? Does my heart anguish of what His heart does - sin, injustice, hunger, loneliness, disease, death, idolatry, hypocrisy, rebellion, strive, indifference, abuse, slavery, selfishness, pride... Oh I can on forever and I am just thinking of the darkness within my own soul.
Lord, may my heart be broken, truly broken, over the things that break your heart. May I not be exhausted by grief but aways praying, always depending, always trusting, always sensitive to your heart, O Lord, that I will not enter into temptation.