The word Gethsemane means “crushed olives.” And from crushed olives comes oil that heals, illuminates, and nourishes. We all have our Gethsemane. To understand and embrace yours, look at the night Christ spent there before going to the cross: “Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them…‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch [pray] 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’” (vv.36-39 NIV). Notice: (1) Gethsemane is where your prayers are not answered as you’d like them to be. God understands how you feel, and He has a better plan in mind. (2) Gethsemane is where those closest to you cannot help. Like Christ’s disciples, they will pray with you for a while but then grow tired and give up. At this point, you pray alone. You go on alone. (3) Gethsemane is where you feel the full weight of God’s will. The Old Testament prophets spoke of “the burden of the Word of the Lord.” Luke tells us that in Gethsemane Jesus was “full of pain” and that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (See Lk 22:44). We used to sing in church, “All that I have, all that I am, all I shall ever be; cannot repay the love debt I owe; I surrender to Thee!” If you’re finding it easier to sing than to surrender, you’re in Gethsemane!
Published on Friday, December 9, 2011 @ 9:59 AM CDT