The disciples Jesus brought with him to the Garden of Gethsemane were unimaginably exhausted. Not only was it after a large meal, but the previous days had been intense with emotional, physical, and spiritual upheaval. When Jesus asked Peter and the sons of Zebedee to sit with him in the garden in Matthew 25, sleep was inevitable. One could hardly blame them for finding a comfortable tree trunk and finally catching some rest.
And yet, their Rabbi, Teacher, and friend had encountered the same circumstances, and his heart was too heavy to sleep. His soul was too distraught to simply enjoy the company of his friends. He knew what was coming. Jesus knew his role in His Father God’s grander Plan meant he was to die an unjust death. Sleep? No, the Lamb of God could not sleep.
Jesus—fully God and fully man—desperately needed his closest companions. When his heart lurched within him and his desire to do God’s will trembled for just a moment, he needed his friends to lift his head and pray for him. And yet, because they didn’t fully understand, they decided to sleep instead.
Our brothers and sisters in the Middle East are far from the perfect Son of God. And yet, in much the same way, God is calling them to live out their faith in a way that defies human logic in order to bring God ultimate glory in the redemption story. Their reality is one few of us as Americans understand. It’s easy to forget the heartache because the heartache has existed too long, and we’re getting tired as observers.
But may we do things differently than the disciples did that night in Gethsemane. May we not fall asleep and forget to powerfully intercede for the hearts and minds of the believers called to a higher purpose. We may be tired of watching a story unfold which hurts our hearts, but may our prayers be what strengthens the hidden believers when they need it most.
In this excruciating time of waiting, may we choose to fight rather than sleep. — written By Cassie Rayl, from chariswomen.com