Matthew 26:36-40,45b – Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners." (NIV)
Late one night following my husband's surgery, I made the decision to go home, which is just a few city blocks from the hospital, rather than spending the night by his bedside. Leaving the bright lights of the parking lot, driving into the blackness of the night, I suddenly felt so alone. The further I drove into the darkness, the more intense the feeling became. On my street, all the houses were dark. Mine was the darkest of all.
Fumbling with my key without the aid of a light, I thought of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. There were people in the houses all around me, but they were sound asleep. If I were to awaken them, would they be like His disciples, eager to go to sleep again? But my situation was so unlike that of Jesus. I had not been arrested to be crucified the next day. I was just an arm's reach away from the light switch that would illuminate my world. Jesus' friends could not stay awake to keep Him from feeling alone that night. It was not that they were indifferent to His needs. They just did not comprehend the depth of His problems. They had no idea what the following day would bring.
Jesus was the light switch that would light up our world and illuminate our darkness, and yet, He prayed in the darkness alone. He went to the cross and the darkness of the grave for us.
There are people we will come in contact with today who have great problems, like loneliness. Will we comprehend their needs or will we be so wrapped up in our own that we are unaware of others?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who turned on the light of life for us. Make us aware of the needs of others. Amen.