“Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.”
It is amazing how even our Saviour experienced great sorrow. Jesus knew the suffering of the cross was just a few hours away, and his soul was “exceeding sorrowful.” In fact, the magnitude of His sorrow is seen in Luke 22:44 where it says, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” There is no doubt that nobody has ever experienced the depth of sorrow that our Saviour experienced.
Have you ever been there where the sorrow was so great that it seemed to consume your life? Everybody will experience great sorrow at some point in their life. Thankfully, Jesus gave us a pattern to follow when dealing with sorrow.
First, tarry and be careful with your decisions. Jesus told the disciples, “…tarry ye here…” Sorrow has a way of messing with your decision-maker. You are going to have to slow down your decisions during times of sorrow and be sure that you are making deliberate decisions. The one thing you don’t want to do is to make a bad decision and add to your sorrow.
Second, watch that you don’t do anything that you would regret. Jesus warned the disciples to “watch with me.” Your emotions are raw when sorrow is great. If you are not careful, you will react in a way that could cause hurt to others and damage relationships that you cherish. Just be careful during times of sorrow that you watch your action, reactions and emotions. Keep them under control, and you won’t have to come back and clean up the mess that you made while going through sorrow.
Third, pray and ask for the LORD’s help. Jesus didn’t attempt to carry the sorrow by Himself, but He prayed to ask for His Father’s help. You can’t change what sorrow has done, but God can help and heal the hurt you are experiencing. The load you carry may be great, but God is there to help you lift your burden. I believe one of the greatest reasons so many suffer in their sorrow is because they sulk about the burden instead of giving it to the LORD.
Fourth, accept whatever the LORD’s will is for your life. The greatest part of Jesus’ prayer was when He said in verse 39, “…not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Certainly, when you pray you want your will to be done, but you must ultimately accept what the LORD wants done in your life. When you have the attitude that you will accept whatever the LORD’s will is, you will find that the load of sorrow isn’t as heavy. My friend, I’m not saying that you have to like your sorrow, but you are going to have to accept the LORD’s will if you are going to become better through it. Don’t let your sorrow turn you into a bitter person.
Finally, go a little further. It says about Jesus in verse 39, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face…” The one thing you are going to have to determine in your times of sorrow is that you will continue to go on for the LORD. Don’t let sorrow be your quitting point. You may have to determine to simply take the next step, but you mustn’t quit. Whatever you are facing today, let me encourage you to go a little further, and fall on your face to pray when you can’t take another step.