Are you an armadillo?
by Pastor Lee Hemen
February 28, 2011
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” (Mark 14:32 NIV)
Here we find the few remaining moments of Jesus’ life and he has a simple request for his disciples: “Sit here while I pray.” All Jesus desires is that they would be steadfast, remain where they were, and stay awake while he prayed. He needed the assurance of his fellows in faith. This brings me to several thoughts: How often do we ask others to sit with us during our worst trials? How often do we sit with others when they ask us to? And finally, why would we want our brothers and sisters in Christ to do such a thing?
I have learned that if Jesus said it, wanted it, or taught it we should listen closely to what he asks, wants, and teaches.
Christians can be like armadillos. When faced with danger these little animals curl up into a tight ball. They have poor eyesight but great hearing and wait for danger to pass before uncurling themselves. We often want to curl up into a tight little ball and shut out the rest of the world when we are going through stress or the trials of the moment. It is a natural armadillo/human response. We think it protects us from getting hurt physically or emotionally, but this is not what the believer is to do. We are to seek out our fellows in Christ and ask them to “sit” with us while we pray. And if we are the one being asked to do such a thing, we are to sit quietly and pray for the one who requested us to sit with them through their trial. We listen, when we are curled up into our “protective shell”, that where two or more are gathered in his name, he is there in the body of his church. It is there we find our strength for the day. In him, with his body of believers, as we sit together and pray.
If Jesus asked his own close disciples sit with him shouldn’t we do the same when we are stressed or facing trials? The answer is, “Yes.” It reassures us that we are not alone. It strengthens us in knowing others care. And it shows the importance of the body of Christ encouraging one another as long as it is called today. You may be the one who needs to “uncurl” or you may be asked to sit a while.
Dear child of God, if you are going through a difficult time, ask, as Jesus did, your fellows in faith to “sit” a while and pray with you. To sit and join you in your moment of trial because if Jesus knew there is strength in numbers how foolish are we when we do not depend on those we are supposed to. Don’t be an armadillo, ask another believer, “Sit here while I pray.”
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.