“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.”
—Mark 14:33-34a (NIV).
Biblical metaphors are present in life all the time. When people question the relevancy of the Bible we can respectfully be quite dumbfounded when we consider the very real-to-life biblical accounts.
It simply defies rational thought that the truths of the Bible can’t be seen in life today, yesterday and tomorrow. And in case parables, miracles and tales of history aren’t enough, there’s the wisdom writings, including the psalms, which advise and empathise—this Word is so practical many literally live on it.
Let’s apply the metaphor of
è There’s the time when we’re left alone to suffer; the time when it appears God has deserted us.
è Not only does it appear that God is absent, trusted others have fallen asleep on the job or have gone A.W.O.L. right in the time of our most urgent need.
è We’re at the depths of our sorrow—indeed, close to death, emotionally speaking.
è We pray and we pray and we pray—yet, there’s no answer. Is that God’s will? We resolve that it must be, but it doesn’t help us.
è We pray that his will be done—not ours, but unlike Jesus, we often don’t want to be held to that reality.
è We’re physically close to others yet they’re far from us; does the concept of feeling ‘alone in a crowded room’ seem familiar?
I think I’ve made my point; however, this list is not exhausted. But, that’s not the key point. The key point is we can thank God for all our living experience, especially the ones where there is a biblical precedent that Jesus endured.
Jesus, whilst he might have been temporarily cut off from the Father in the garden, sought God in prayer. In his difficulty he drew close to the Father, and in ours we have the very same opportunity.
The blessing of blessings in this is when we’re in our very own private gardens of
To have endured even one true
And, so, we are thankful for it.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.