In The Garden: Be Present

YOU GUYS! Easter is Sunday, and I just can’t get enough of the story of Jesus and His journey to the cross. Because of this, I decided to revisit and repost a series I wrote about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Thanks for taking a little throwback trip with me this week!

In my last two posts, I have been  talking about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. I have been mesmerized and challenged by all of the new truth I have been finding in this one story.  This is my last little nugget for now, but it is really convicting. At least for me.

In the last couple of posts, I talked about Jesus asking us to sit in His deep hurt with Him and about inviting others into our deep hurt. There is one component to the greatest commandment (Mark 12:29-31) given to us that  we are missing though, and that is sitting with others in their deep hurt.

Galatians 6:2 says “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” We are called to love others well, and love ourselves well (Matt. 22:36-37 The law of Christ). We are called to be there with them in the middle of trials, struggles, temptations, and just crappy days.

The thing is there are so many people, and so much hurt, and so much distraction that I think we miss out on why we are walking through tough stuff with people in our community.

“So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26:40-41

One thing that sticks out to me in this passage (Matthew 26:36-46) is the fact that twice Jesus says “keep watch”. The word “watch” means to be alert or to be awake.  I think that Jesus is saying BE PRESENT.  He didn’t need  anyone to keep watch for other people. He is prophetic, knows when things are going down, and has angel armies protecting Him. Besides, later on we see Peter’s best defense is to cut off someone’s ear. Good job, Peter. You are the guy I want on my side during the zombie apocalypse, or when genetically altered animals fight back and attack humanity. Let’s be honest. Jesus knew Peter wasn’t going to be much help in the protection department. Here is what I think Jesus was trying to point out to his friends He invited into the garden with Him. The act of being present is the thing that keeps us from being led into temptation. It is a way to love others, as we love ourselves.

Often as I am walking through a tough situation with a friend, I am aware enough to watch her actions; however, I am not aware enough to learn from her mistakes or good choices. I just judge her for them. I think “she did what?” or “Why would she say that?”. My all time personal favorite is “WHY, oh WHY is she dating HIM?”. Then there are times where I see a friend’s wise and good decisions, and I am offended by them because I know I wouldn’t have been as wise.  I am quick to judge and much, much slower to learn. The spirit is willing and the flesh is weak and all of that. I have often thought that it is my job to save that person. To rescue them from whatever despair they are in. So I try to save them and end up missing out on the lessons I should be learning.

I think Jesus wants us to help each other through the hard stuff, be present, and fully awake. Not just half invested because there might be more fun people to hang out with, or because our jobs are consuming, or even worse because our ministry is consuming. The way to avoid temptation is to be fully present in relationships and learn from the people you are trying to care for. By loving unconditionally, we are able to see people through the filter that Jesus does and learn from them, and then hopefully when we walk through a similar situation, we are able to do so on steady ground.

I don’t want to be the girl who lives in such a distracted way that I never grow into a person of depth. I want to love unconditionally. I want to serve selflessly. I want to give my life away and learn every single thing I can about Jesus and the life He intended for me to live. So hold me accountable because again, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

What about you? What does it look like for you when you walk through trial with a friend. Is it a hassle for you or a privilege? Is it a learning experience or a fix the other person experience? How can we help each other find a better way of being present?

In Reckless Pursuit,

Mindy

 

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