Me to We - Part 4
Jesus, thank You for the pain You bore for us when You suffered and died. Thank You that You loved us so much that You desired to pay that price and gave all of Yourself to us.
Read: Mark 14:32-34 NIV
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray." 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," He said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."
In our culture I suspect this conversation between two close friends would go more like this:
Jim: Hey Bill, how’s it going?
Bill: Fine, man.
Jim: Are you sure? You look overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.
Bill: Nah, I got this.
We have been trained by our culture: our peers, movies, mass media and certainly our social media to put up a good front. Unfortunately, that front is our enemy. It’s a barrier between us and others and destroys much-needed intimacy and real relationships where we can grow together in Christ-likeness.
All of us struggle with sin, suffer rejection and experience loss and failure. We want to bear these burdens for each other, but too often hide our own problems. When we hide, we become alone in the struggle, and it might appear as if no one else shares our experience of pain. Putting our guard down may seem dangerous, painful even, but sorely needed if we are to find healing.
Jesus was vulnerable. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He opened Himself up to those closest to Him to reveal His fear, His pain, His human weakness.
God uses our pain and struggle to cause us to grow. Sometimes it seems that’s all He uses. When we keep those struggles from each other we are depriving ourselves of the opportunity to find rest, but we also deny the opportunity for growth in the Body as a whole. Our struggles and pain are a rich source of Godly wisdom if we are willing to walk through them together.
Jesus chose twelve men to walk alongside Him. Of those twelve, He chose three to develop a deeper level of intimacy and trust.
Maybe you have been vulnerable in the past and been “burned”. In his book, “Inside Out,” Dr. Larry Crabb teaches us that it is impossible to protect ourselves and love at the same time--a bold statement. But love always involves risk and pain, and if we are to truly love one another that pain is a reality we must accept. Through the pain, the struggles and the fears, we can learn how to be open, honest and vulnerable with one another, so that we can carry each other’s burdens and truly fulfill the abundant life meant for those in the body of Christ.
Lord, teach us the value of intimacy and trust in relationships. Give us the courage to be vulnerable and teach us to carry each other’s burdens.