I’ve been so moved over the last couple of days by the comments to my last post. It seems I’m not the only one lugging around a heavy heart, although, in all honesty, I really didn’t think I was alone. With all the relationships in our lives, situations in which we find ourselves (of our own making or not), and the plain fact that our world is a broken-but-beautiful mess, it would be next to impossible to not be burdened in some fashion or another.
As I’ve been examining my own heaviness-of-heart, I’ve been driven into scripture to search out the word “heavy”. There is all manner of “heavy” in scripture. I found…
- heaviness, as in literal weight that is heavy
- heaviness, in relation to a burden or “yoke” we’ve been given to carry
- heaviness, as in losses sustained in battle
- heaviness, as in eyes fighting sleep
- heaviness, with regard to in wind and rain
- heaviness, with regard to God’s hand bearing down on the wicked
But, then I landed on one scripture in particular that I read with fresh eyes.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, “Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray.”
And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed.
Then He said to them, “My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me.
Matthew 26:36-38 (Amplified)
When I was a little girl, I was told that there was nothing that I would ever feel that Jesus hadn’t experienced or didn’t understand. As I’ve traveled through my life, I’ve delighted when I’ve discovered the scriptures that supported that statement. The scripture above was a balm to my spirit this week, as I saw afresh how Jesus understands my heaviness of heart. When the final hours before His crucifixion fell upon Him, Jesus was very heavy-hearted – even “unto death”.
Ever felt that way? Certainly, His was an extraordinary circumstance, in that most of us have not faced what we knew would be the cruelest and most painful of deaths by murder. However, perhaps you have found yourself facing the uncertainty of cancer, or have had a child who was such a prodigal that you found yourself hanging precariously at the end of your rope, or have sat, alone, at the farthest outpost of a devastated marriage with no more hope for restoration. In situations such as these, the “heavy” in your heart certainly would threaten to crush it altogether.
What if you’re like me? Maybe your “heavy” is not of the end-of-the-world variety, but is still something that makes you feel that your heart has turned to stone, heavy in your chest. Where we may not be “dying of sorrow”, we can still take comfort in the fact that even Jesus suffered from “distress of mind”. If He felt the way we do, then maybe we should take a good look at how He handled it.
And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.”
Matthew 26:39 (Amplified)
When He felt afraid, depressed, grief-stricken, and filled with sorrow, He…
- had others join and “keep watch” with Him
- fell on His face in submission and worship before the Father
- asked for what He desired
- worshipped God through surrendering to His (God’s) will, and not His (Jesus’) own.
Sometimes, when I have a heavy heart, I feel tempted to withdraw. But, while Jesus did withdraw to spend time in prayer with God, He also surrounded Himself by those He trusted to pray and keep watch with Him. Having others cover us in times of heaviness is crucial.
Jesus fell on His face in the most submissive pose He could. This is an act that we can emulate as a show of submission, brokenness and surrender.
With a surrendered heart, He still boldly approached the throne with His request. He asked God from the depth of His being to remove the heaviness and spare Him from it. We are free to ask God to do the same for us.
BUT, the final action of Jesus was one of worship. He conceded His own will and desires to those of the Father. If our desires won’t line up with God’s for our lives, our circumstances, our heavy hearts, then let’s WORSHIP Him for fulfilling His will and desire instead. Let’s worship Him with our surrender to the amazing things He will do in and through our pain.
If this post finds your heart heavy, let’s, you and me, surround one another and pray – keep watch – as we work it out with God.
Take comfort that your Jesus gets it.
And if He doesn’t remove the heavy in your heart right away, He’ll be faithful to help you bear it as His will is worked out for your greater good.
What a sweet reminder that Jesus in fact has felt all of our “emotions” and He always took them before the Father, and had frineds watch his back. We do tend to withdrawl, thanks for the encouragement.
I’m praying for you as I know you are praying for me.
Our God is FAITHFUL!
This so much speaks of what I was going through last week and my reaction to playing the part of the woman with the “issue” of blood. I’m not fully relieved from the heaviness, but things are better.
I’m just angry because of it. It feels so unfair, especially when I can’t but a finger on why I’m feeling this way. I don’t want it, not at all. But I am walking it through with Jesus, mustering the mustard seed of faith that is my portion today, believing that a better day awaits me.
God is so faithful. He is. But sometimes my heart cries for a quicker deliverance.
Thanks for your honesty and for posting your thoughts. It helps to know that I’m not alone.