SLEEPING FROM SORROW


“…In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow (ἀπὸ τῆς λύπης), and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into temptation.’” (Lk 22: 44-46)

Things were about to change, as our Lord repeatedly warned His disciples in those final days leading up to His arrest and crucifixion. And at this point, in Gethsemane, their reaction is… to fall asleep. They sleep “from” or because of, sorrow. Can I relate to this kind of reaction to “sorrow”? Of course I can. At difficult times I’ve spent too many hours in bed, not wanting to deal with change and the responsibilities it entails. But that kind of sleep never brought me peace, just as the sleep of the disciples didn’t prepare them for the Lord’s cross. They scattered and left Him, unable to respond and to be there, for Him.

When I am failing to respond, when I lack “response-ability,” let me “get up and pray,” asking God to do for me what I can’t do for myself. He does help me do, little by little, what I tend to avoid, when I attempt to carry the world on my own shoulders, without reaching out to Him for help. “Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace.”

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