Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Jesus and pain
Second post in one day, but I really felt this needed sharing.
Recently I have been studying Matthew, and today while reading some things really struck me, both from what the bible said, and from what Tom Wright wrote in regards to what the bible said, in Matthew 26:36-46.
The first bit that really struck me was this 'Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me"'. Jesus is sharing how he is feeling with his disciples, he's telling them what great and overwhelming pain he is in emotionally. He is so overwhelmingly sad it is to the point of death. I don't know if you have ever experienced such a deep deep sadness, some of you might, some of you might not. I'm not sure I could say I felt exactly how Jesus felt at that time, but I could confidently use those words to describe the extreme and intense sadness I face sometimes with BPD. Sadness so intense that you fear it will kill you, or it will cause you do endanger your life because its convinced you death would be better than this. Im not saying I believe Jesus was suicidal at this time, I'm talking of my own experience of the intense emotion he may of been feeling, and what it has felt like to me.
He then tells them to watch, which made me feel as though this was something important for them to know and understand. He wanted them, and us, to know what to do when you feel overwhelming emotion to the point of death. So what did Jesus do, following these words? He fell on his face and prayed. He made himself low, physically, and humbled himself against the God of all things. He prayed "my father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will". He repeats similar word 3 times. He asks God to please make it stop, words I have used on many many occasion, pleading with God, telling him how much it hurts and how difficult it is. Yet he ends his prayer by saying that he submits to Gods will and not his own. How many times have we begged for something to be over, to be healed, to stop? I know since Ive been ill this is a prayer I have prayed many times, but only recently have I found my faith deepened and strengthened as I try to declare that although this pain is terrible and overwhelming and
I would rather die than carry on with this burden, I trust Gods will, and I put aside my desire and trust that his ways are best. Yes, this is hard, and I often forget, or struggle to add the ending, but its important, its the real strength needed to get through hard times, its trust in God and therefore hope for the future, because God's timing is perfect, even when it is painful.
Also, if we are not going through hard times, we will undoubtable know someone who is. Jesus asks the disciples to come alongside him and support him and watch over him while he is vulnerable. The people in our lives going through hard times are vulnerable, and we can do the same, journeying with them and silently praying while they journey through the difficulty with God. This is why God made us to be in community, to support and love one another and to journey the soul crushing desperate and painful times with each other. This can be hard, I know it can be difficult to be open and honest with others, its something I struggle with, but it seems clear in this passage that Jesus needed people around him, and he is the messiah, how much more must we need each other?