Have you ever thought God doesn’t know – can’t relate to – how you feel? Me, too.
I’ve not only thought about it, but I’ve said it. Perhaps this passage will help you as it has helped me:
Matthew 26 (NASB95)
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed.
38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?
41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.
45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
Jesus and His disciples stopped upon arrival at Gethsemane. He instructed all but three to sit and wait. After the day they’d experienced, I bet they were glad to oblige. A busy day, a full belly, and an after-supper journey. I imagine their eyes were heavy.
Jesus pressed further into the garden with Peter, James, and John. According to this passage, as they journeyed, Christ began to be “grieved and distressed”. He not only felt grief, He also expressed it when He stated, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
Have you ever reached out to another due to your intense, grievous emotions? Me, too.
Jesus had separated from Peter, James, and John before His grief manifested with a physical reaction. “He fell on His face and prayed.”
What about you? Ever crumpled before God as though a weight had weakened your body? Me, too.
In those times, I have known comfort because a few close friends were aware of my sorrow. You, too? If so, consider the next few hours of Christ’s life.
After one hour of prayer, Christ returned to his close friends. Brothers whom He asked to stay awake with Him. However, He found them sleeping. Wow. Really? Of the three disciples, Jesus awakened Peter (v. 40). Earlier in the night, Peter had proclaimed, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” (Matthew 26.33 NASB95). He followed that statement with, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” (Matthew 26.35 NASB95).
If you were to choose one friend to awaken and confront, wouldn’t it be one who professed similar loyalty? Me, too.
Maybe the disciples overlooked the magnitude of these moments. Perhaps Jesus’ next words were an attempt to communicate the depth of His desire, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26.35 NASB95).
Ever felt that for all your speaking, no one is hearing? Me, too.
In those moments, I sometimes don’t know how to proceed. I’m not sure which way to turn. How about you? Have you noticed the example of Christ during His struggle? He kept going to His Father in prayer.
I ask you to take note of something. It’s obvious that every time Jesus went to his disciples, He found them sleeping. However, a not-so-obvious fact exists in this story. How many times did Jesus go to His Father and find Him asleep?
Not once. Every time He went to His Father in prayer, He found His Father present, available, and listening.
Jesus knew obedience to His Father’s will included walking through some of His darkest hours of life on earth. He also knew His Father welcomed Him in prayer and heard His laments. Jesus knew His Father was with Him when no one else could – or would – be. Can you relate to that knowledge? Me, too.
Humility was the essence of Christ’s humanity.
As a human, Christ felt the things we feel. I believe His humanity has been well-established.
As a human, Jesus served with humility. Why did He walk through sorrow and grief instead of walking away from it? Humility.
He didn’t live for Himself. He lived – and was on the threshold of dying – for those who believed in Him and those who would believe. The only way He would fulfill His Father’s will was through His continual humiliation.
God knows how you feel.
He knows because He’s felt the same emotions.
His love for you is why He endured every emotion known to us.
Ever felt humbled by the knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice? Me, too.
I’m grateful for His endearing knowledge of how we feel. May we humbly walk forward in Him, offering help to others in need.
Father, thank You for enduring every emotion on this side of heaven that we have – or will experience. And thank You for giving us Your Word from Your very mouth. It helps us hold dear the truth that You not only see what we endure, You relate from Your own experience. Most of all, we know we are never alone. You walk with us and dwell in us. You never slumber nor ever forsake. May those who read Your Word and the message I share find comfort in their journey this side of heaven. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Does the truth that God knows how you feel encourage you?
Let us know know with a comment below.