“Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling alone, it’s much more intense at night? I think of Jesus, in the darkness of the olive grove, the only light from the moon, about to face the unthinkable.”- Sheila Walsh
“They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, ‘Sit here while I go and pray.’ He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”- Mark 14:31-34 (NLT)
Sheila Walsh concludes Chapter 2 of Holding On with Mark’s account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Most significantly, as Jesus knelt in the garden, with all that lay ahead, Jesus knew that His Father never messes with people. Or toy with us. In addition, Sheila underscores, even when you fail to see God’s plan, He’s still our Abba. And, indeed, God’s plan for you exists. We’re never alone, even when we feel that way.
Furthermore, Sheila notes, the word Gethsemane comes from the Aramaic word meaning ‘oil press.’ According to The Rock, The Road, and The Rabbi, co-written by messianic rabbi Jason Sobel and Kathy Lee Gifford, lives go through three pressings to extract every drop of oil. Hence, these three pressings connect to the three times Jesus asked His heavenly Father to ‘let this cup pass from me.’
In conclusion, Sheila talks about the lies of loneliness. When you feel misunderstood, the author states, it feels like a knife in your chest. And with that feeling, shame arises. Above all, shame:
- silences us, while speaking up sets us free
- tells us no one understands us
- tells us we’re not worth speaking up for
- is a liar
- verifies that everything we’ve questioned about ourselves in our darker moments is true
- cons us to believe all others would benefit if we just failed to show up
Finally, Sheila exhorts:
“We never wait alone. We wait in the presence of God, and in that waiting, God is working.”
Today’s question: What sustains you in the darkness of the olive grove? Please share.
Coming Monday: the May Short Meditation, “And breathe in Your peace”
Tomorrow’s blog: “The silence of God’s voice”