Stay here and keep watch!
March 2, 2011
By Pastor Lee Hemen
He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” (Mark 14:33-34 NIV)
What do you do when you are facing a trial in your spirituality or life? Do you go home, close the door, and wait for others to seek you out or do you do what Jesus our Master did? He went to his best friends and asked them to walk with him. He knew he needed the closeness of their presence but he also needed them to, “Stay here and keep watch.”
Certainly we are to go to those who are hurting and encourage them, but far too often we are not aware because the one who is hurting has already cut themselves off from their fellow Christians.
I have watched over the years as folks get their feeling hurt because they expect others to know exactly what they are feeling. This is simply not possible!
In marriage counseling, I tell couples never to expect the other person to know what they themselves are thinking. You have to go and tell the other person how you feel. When we don’t, we fall right into Satan’s hip pocket. Jesus knew that we are most spiritually vulnerable when we face trials alone. He needed his friends to keep watch with him. Jesus was never afraid to ask for help from others.
Jesus knew we fall prey to Satan’s schemes when we do not ask for help. We begin to justify our anger and hurt by thinking that because the other person did not respond they way we wanted them to, then we are correct in our hurt, and that they simply did not care. We may even begin keeping a list of all the perceived wrongs done to us by them. Of course we fail to realize we were not honest about how we felt in the first place, but that is of no consequence to us because it is our feelings that matter most, not the facts.
Jesus was facing the most severe trial of his life, and instead of expecting his disciples to understand what he was going through, he goes to them and asks them to walk with him during the trial. It is only when he asked that his disciples could actually come to any kind of understanding of knowing what Jesus was going through. Remember, the disciples had just argued about who would sit where, whether their feet should be washed, and who was going to betray Jesus first. People do not understand what we may be going through, unless we invite them in and ask them to “stay here and keep watch” with us.
We would do well to learn a lesson from Jesus’ example. Sure, it is always hard to make ourselves ask for another to walk with us. It is difficult because when we are facing a trial we do not want to expose ourselves to what others may see as personal weakness. How silly! It is far sillier to expect others to know of your hurt when you never ask them to walk with you! Rather than sitting back and expecting his disciples to respond, “Jesus asked them to “stay here and keep watch” with him. Will you do the same during your moment of trial? I pray you do.
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.