“Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’” Mathew 26: 38
Jesus here was subject to the mental agony of his approaching crucifixion. He found Himself in Gethsemane in the company of His closest companions – Peter, James and John. The sins of those He would die for created a chasm between Him and His Father and appeared to keep Him at bay out of His Father’s presence. The laid sins upon Him caused a great amount of inward distress that shattered His heart.
Overwhelmed by emotions, Jesus moved beyond His disciples and spoke to His Father about the terrible agony He faced not for His sins but for the sins of the world. Let that sink in – Christ bore the weight of sin for all who populated the world. He was not bearing His own sins but the sins of the world.
While in prayer, Christ uttered to His Father, “My Father, if it is possible, do not give me this cup of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.” Matthew 26:39. He negotiated with the Father to escape his intense emotions but Christ was to experience one hundredfold what we feel when we are faced with the true heavy, dark and guilt-laced nature of our own sins, just to save us from our sins.
After prayer, Jesus went back to His disciples to gain some sort of relief and found them sleeping. He woke them with the telling question, “Simon, why are you sleeping? You could not stay awake with me for one hour?” The disciples couldn’t even stay awake with Jesus for one hour in his greatest time of need of support and comfort. Sometimes even the best and closest of friends with their best efforts cannot offer us the comfort only our Heavenly Father can or truly understand the support we need of them.
Thankfully, what friends could not give, God the Father gave: An angel specially sent from heaven came down and directed Christ’s head upward for Him to gain a glimpse of His victory over death and the devil. It was only then that a heavenly peace flowed through Jesus, reminding Him of His purpose, comforting Him for the moment.
This gift of peace and purpose outweighed the torturous sorrow experienced in Gethsemane.
Jeremiah too was overwhelmed with sorrow. Naturally sensitive and melancholic in nature, he desired to live a quiet life above the sin of his nation. However, God had another plan. Jeremiah was called to deliver a radical message to usher his nation back into authentic worship of the true God.
He was fiercely opposed, cruelly mocked and wickedly targeted. Still, Jeremiah was so overwhelmed with concern, care and compassion that he cried out: “O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears,” he mourned, “that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! O that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them.” Jeremiah 9:1, 2.
While his quiet obedience led him to deliver the message of God to a stubborn people, his sensitive soul cried for the wreckage of sin he witnessed among his people.
Even when he could not regulate his own emotions, Jeremiah remained committed to God’s will. Even when his emotions got the best of him, God provided Jeremiah with strength and a song of praise: “The Lord is with me as a mighty terrible One,” he declared in faith; “therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be really ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.” “Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for He hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.” Jeremiah 20:11, 13.
Jeremiah’s gift of strength and praise outweighed the gloom that threatened to control his heart.
What has your emotions in a knot today? Perhaps you are burdened by what is happening around you like Jeremiah or by what you are tasked to do like Jesus? Or maybe your heavy set emotions are stirring a terrible war within your mind and heart, threatening to control your actions?
Pause and identify the emotions. Do not be afraid of them for they are mere indicators of your need for God’s gift of peace and strength.
Cry out to God for comfort and direction in a genuine way.
Exercise your power of choice – Choose not to let disappointment steal your thankful spirit; for, God provides a barrelful of blessings for every pint of disappointment. Choose not to allow dissatisfaction to rob you of enjoying the richness of the moment you are in. Choose to harness your emotions and channel them into working for you, rather than against you.
Choose to allow God to take charge of your emotions as He did for Jeremiah and Jesus when they faced very real emotionally-draining and trying times.
Prayer: Lord, take charge of my emotions. Allow them to lead me closer to you. Give me the peace you offered your Son at Gethsemane and the strength you offered Jeremiah on his assignment of being a Prophet to a rebellious nation.
Scripture of the Week: It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3: 22-26.
Love, peace and blessings,
© 2015, Dentrecia Blanchette