And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Jesus was used to being thronged by the multitudes, and He had a very public ministry of teaching and preaching. He performed miracles at times in front of thousands of people. But Jesus also had many moments where it was just Him and His disciples. And as He journeyed with a pinpoint focus toward Jerusalem, to His cross, to His expected end, His circle gets smaller and smaller.
As He faced the magnitude of what was to come and became overwhelmed by it, Jesus leaves behind the crowds and most of His disciples, asking just three of them to join Him in this moment of intense sorrow. This was a very personal moment for Jesus, and He invites them to share it with Him. But even Peter, James, and John, who had shared many special moments with Jesus, could offer no comfort or wisdom. Jesus was left to face it alone with His Father.
Sometimes when we face our own intense moments of sorrow, when we experience the most difficult things in our lives, it’s not the crowd of acquaintances around us that will help. Sometimes it’s not our group of friends who will help. And in our most vulnerable and troubled times, sometimes even those closest to us will let us down. But that does not mean that we are left to face those trials alone. Those are the times we fall before our Father in prayer and seek comfort and wisdom and help from Him. He will not let us down. He will not forsake. He will hear our cries and fill us with His peace.
There will be moments in this life where we need what only God can offer to us. It is nice to have friends and loved ones to pray with us and for us, and we need those people in our lives. Those around us can offer us encouragement and support in times of trouble, and that is what we are supposed to do for each other. But sometimes, like Jesus did, there are times where we need to withdraw to a private place and spend time alone with God. He has the answers we seek. Jesus brought His request to the Father and accepted His answer with grace. May we be willing to do the same when we seek Him for help in times of trouble.