I thought of Jesus and what must have been His worst night on this earth. Him laying face down in the Garden of Gethsemane the eve before He was to be killed. He prayed on His face for hours. Perhaps His heart swelled to the point of breaking as He thought of the pain His people were going through or (would go through) in this life. Maybe he offered intercession as He prayed for God to take this cup from Him.
My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. He said to them, “Stay here and keep watch with me,” Then he fell with this face to the ground praying, “Father if is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will.” ~Mark 14:34-36
The story continued as Jesus prayed to the point of sweating blood, anguished over what he would face. Perhaps like the anguish I was feeling over the choices and actions of my child. Maybe even my friends felt the same anguish in the midst of their own circumstances. Each of us, alone in the quiet of our homes, faces planted into the carpet, tears streaming, pleading with God to make it stop, to rescue us. Yet, Jesus knew rescue wouldn’t come the way He might have wanted it. It would not come to Him laying face down on the ground, drowning in his sweat and tears.
His rescue was much different. His rescue meant yielding to the pain. To stay in the place, the circumstances that broke His heart. His rescue happened three days later after defeating death. It is the same kind of stay He is teaching us in our stories. That self-doubt we feel is because our marriages aren’t supposed to be crumbling, we aren’t supposed to feel drained, sold out and dragged down by motherhood. We aren’t supposed to be mentally and emotionally gutted from balancing a child with special needs, the demands of work, and feeling as if we are all alone.
We don’t want to stay here but we don’t have to wait here alone. It’s the same kind of wait Jesus encountered the night before the cross. And there’s beauty in that because Jesus is here in the midst saying, “I’ll suffer with you.”
Jesus whispers to our doubt and struggle, “I won’t rescue you because this kind of struggle leads to deep roots, community with others, and legacy of overcoming…”
When we shed our Facebook perfect posts and lay bare the ugly before another woman, we don’t stay stuck in self-doubt. We move forward into tomorrow leaning on each other. Suffering no doubt, but healing. So turn your face to him, open your heart and embrace the stay, open your heart to another.