He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” (NIV) Mark 14:33-34
Christ asked Peter, James and John to stay and watch and pray, while he faced the full impact of His coming crucifixion. Christ, who was without sin, was about to take on the sin of the world. In His mental anguish, He looked to His Father, God for strength. And He entreated His friends three times to watch and pray. . . and three times they failed and fell asleep.
What would you do if your friend spoke these words to you? Would you run to their side? Would you stay awake, keep watch and pray for them? Would you be desperate to help comfort them, ease their sorrow, carry their burden? Of course you would; you would never be caught sleeping, or would you?
Every day, people cry out to us for help. Their souls are overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. The problem is, they rarely call out verbally, as directly, as Christ did, and they rarely give us three chances to help. More often than not, you have to look closely, check for subtle symptoms of a broken heart. They may look tired and complain of a poor sleep habits. They may be “too busy” to spend time with you. They may turn to false comforts like drugs, alcohol or even sex. Sometimes, they may cover their sadness with false bravado. Often, they lash out in anger pushing you away when all they want to do is cry out like Christ did.
Ask God to show you who is crying out to you for help today. Have Him show you the signs of those who are in anguish. Reach out to them, pray for them, be there for them. Don’t be asleep!
Written by Sheree Motola used with permission