Suffering comes to all of us, and no one can suffer for us. Even so, we can be supported in those difficult times by the prayers and understanding of loved ones and friends. It’s when we are too proud to admit our need to others that we are in the greatest danger.
The Sequoia trees of California tower as much as 300 feet above ground. Strangely, these giants have unusually shallow root systems that reach out in all directions to capture the greatest amount of surface moisture. Seldom will you see a redwood standing alone because high winds would quickly uproot it. That’s why they grow in clusters. Their intertwining roots provide support for one another against the storms.
Support is what Jesus wanted from Peter, James, and John in Gethsemane as He faced Calvary. On the cross as the world’s sin-Bearer He would experience His Father’s wrath and abandonment. That was the awful cup He prayed would be taken from Him. In that dark hour, He looked to His disciples for prayerful alertness and compassion. But oh, how they disappointed Him! Somehow the sight of His sleeping disciples must have made the isolation of Gethsemane that much more painful.
If Jesus looked to human support in His crisis hour, how much more do Christians need one another when they suffer! Let’s be willing to ask someone to pray for us and with us. And let’s be alert for opportunities to lend our support to others who are suffering.