Deeply Distressed

March 29, 2018
by John Stuart

Mark 14:33 – [Jesus] took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. (NIV)

Like most folks, I try not to let things distress or disturb me, but when they do, my prayers are peppered with worries and anxieties, which make it difficult to focus on my problem or really ask God for help. As a pastor, I should know better, but as a human being, I suffer from the weaknesses and frailties that we all have as finite creatures. If my thoughts are scrambled because of stress, my prayers are full of moments when I feel as though I'm wrestling with God. Within my heart, I know that He truly loves me, but my mind shoots past that thought and heads out into the wide unknown where uncertainty and insecurity abide.

When I read about Christ's daunting prayer experience in the Garden of Gethsemane, I get it, and Jesus feels like a kindred spirit struggling with His humanity. It's obvious that He doesn't want to die or experience the torment that is about to befall Him. He's looking for a way out and clings to God, hoping to get some sort of reprieve. When it doesn't come, even after pleading three times with God, Christ accepts that there is no other way to save humanity. His struggle is over, and He agrees with God's decision. He surrenders Himself to His Father's will. His human spirit embraces His divine purpose, so the conflict is over.

Perhaps you're going through a tough time or some unhappy circumstances. Maybe you're stretched beyond your limits or you are having trouble trying to focus. Allow God into the midst of what you're struggling, and let Him help you to solve and overcome your issue. Remember that Jesus experienced something similar, and He knows all of your weaknesses and fears. Let Him heal you of all that harms you and help you through all that hinders you. It's what He does best; it's why we call Him "Saviour".

Points to ponder: What is hurting me right now? Am I willing to let Christ embrace me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, be with us now in the midst of all that we are presently experiencing. Be our constant Guide and loving Saviour. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks John.


    So true. I make myself take a deep breath and say “let go and let God”. Not easy but as you say it works.


    Thank you, John, for sharing about your struggle in this devotional with us. It’s another encouraging embrace from God. Blessings.


    Your writing has come at the most appropriate time. Going through some tough stuff with my husband who has been diagnosed with dementia.


    John thanks so much for your devotional today. It really hit home for me as I am going through a rough season in my life. It seems when I pray my thoughts do wander and I can’t seem to focus on Jesus.
    Your words of encouragement will help me to let go and let God.
    Thanks again.


    John:
    You couldn’t have picked a better time to write this devotional.
    Our daughter is going through a stressful time and carrying us along with it.
    Your words help us to think about The Lord and how He can take us through this.
    (ON)


    A thought provoking message today John. I was reminded of that lovely hymn, “how firm a foundation” we used to sing that was in our Anglican hymnbook. Alas, it is not sung too often now, but the words are so profound.
    Easter blessings to you and yours!
    (Ontario)


    Thank you for today’s devotional. It touched my heart deeply. Family bickering on top of my husband’s health concerns had made me feel that God was just not there for me, not listening! But I do know better, and after a few tears, am back on track and on my knees at His feet!
    Thank you, thank you!
    (Ontario)


    Dear Rev Stuart,
    I am so grateful and thankful that you are “back on track.” I trust the surgery was successful and that there will be no more pain or discomfort for you.
    I pray you and your family will have a truly wonderful and happy Easter.
    Thank you for the inspirational and meaningful devotionals.
    God bless and keep you and your family.
    (B.C.)


    Amen, John.

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