Exhausted from Sorrow

This past week my wife and I were awakened at 4am by a call from a friend to tell us her young daughter tried to take her own life.  It was so devastating, my wife was instantly alert and shocked into problem solving mode.  Thankfully, the young woman is ok and receiving care for her recovery.  But, I hurt for this young woman.  With seemingly so much ahead of her, why was she feeling driven to this act?

In my devotional I was reading in Luke 22 about the disciples falling asleep as Jesus prayed before his crucifixion.  In verse 45 it says Jesus: “found them asleep exhausted from sorrow”.  I have always thought so poorly of the disciples  for falling asleep, but what stood out to me was: “they were exhausted from sorrow”. 

This made me think that perhaps they were so bewildered and feeling so hopeless that their teacher and friend was leaving them that they were indeed, “exhausted from sorrow”.  Maybe there was some legitimacy found in their humanity and the depth of the moment.  That in their frailty this was their very human response.

Jesus gives them the remedy saying: “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”  The remedy is to pray in our sorrow and exhaustion when we have come to the end of ourselves.  And this is what Jesus was doing.  In his anguish and at the extent of his humanity he prayed and asked the Father for another way, if possible.

Also on this day my devotional took me to Hebrews 6:13-20.  Verse 19 stood out to me: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  This speaks of the hope we have in Jesus, but it is not an empty hope.  It is a hope founded in the promise of God to Abraham to have many descendants who are blessed and as he “waited patiently” it says: “he “received what was promised” (vs 15). There are more Christians, descendants of Abraham, than any other faith in the world today – so this promise is being fulfilled at this very moment proving our hope is in a God who keeps his promises.

So in our depths, at the end of our sufficiency, when we are exhausted or sorrowful let’s remember to pray and establish our hope in Jesus, the anchor of our soul, firm and secure.  And let’s ask God to help us trust in him for he is indeed a God who keeps his promises.

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