Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him….He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. Luke 22:39-45
The old hymn depicts Jesus in Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. I listen to and I read the lyrics. What I hear and read is a description of what so many believers experience in the times of struggle in their lives. “The star is dimmed that lately shone.” Life for Jesus had darkened. Especially standing out to me is his loneliness. “The suff’ring Savior prays alone.” “The Savior wrestles lone with fears.” He was alone in his anguish. The depths of which so vividly painted. “The Man of Sorrows weeps in blood.” Yet his disciples slept in their own self-centeredness.
I read the story in the gospels. It is vividly told in the old hymn. So many thoughts come to my heart. One comes in focus today. Jesus, alone in the depths of his anguish, was not alone. “Yet He that hath in anguish knelt Is not forsaken by His God.” His Father was with him as the angel appeared and soothed the Savior’s woe. So through the old hymn, when alone in our sorrow, we are strengthened. For we realize the Savior knows. He has been where we are. Jesus in the garden assures us of his and the Father’s presence. The Spirit is with us to give strength in the midst of our anguish and sorrow. We are not alone.