He told the disciples that were with Him that He was deeply grieved to the point of death. And then He began to pray. There are a couple more things that stick out to me here. One thing is that He told those close to Him how He felt. As caregivers, we do not tend to do that very much. For the most part, we are the ones carrying the load and in many cases we are walking it alone. Sometimes there may not be anyone close enough to tell that you're having a difficult time, are depressed or overburdened. Other times, we just cannot admit our weakness as we don't want others to think we cannot carry the load - we have to be strong for those we are caring for, right?
How could Jesus make Himself that vulnerable? Because He was going to go past them. He simply told them how He felt crushed underneath the burden He was soon to bear to Calvary - and then went past his "friends" and straight to the Father with His prayers. And you know what? He prayed that the pain would pass...He asked the Father to remove it. How many times has that been the cry of the caregiver? But we are in good company. Jesus did not have His burden removed. He submitted to the master plan of the Father and endured the cross on our behalf.
When He came back to the disciples, He found them asleep. He asked them if they could not pray with Him for just one hour...wouldn't it be great to find someone willing to pray with the caregiver for an hour? I think of the few times when friends have taken the time for even a quick prayer with (or for) me and how much it meant. I have a couple of friends that are very good about that actually. They ask me some hard questions to find out how I am really doing. When I tell them my concern of the day - they say, "is it okay to pray about that right now?" Of course! It means so much for someone to take that time to call or to say that quick prayer...maybe we should start a "prayergivers" network for caregivers! lol
Jesus then tells the disciples that He really does understand for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. And then you know what? He went right back to praying! I'm so thankful for this reminder today. It doesn't matter how sleepy everyone around us might be - we can continue to go to Him in prayer. And what about those days that we just don't have it? Caregivers understand that there are those days when your body, soul and spirit are just too tired to go on. But we do it anyway - there are certain things that just have to be done regardless of how we feel; or if we no longer feel. But in those moments of despair remember that first of all - we are in good company! And He can hear our heart's cry - with or without words.
Today I will meditate on the nearness of God. I'm thankful that Jesus does not snub me for my despair or distress - He understands and holds me closer. I'll meditate on this closeness today and pray from my heart for strength to make one more day of the journey.