PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Intense SufferingRichard Waialeale
"And now they came to an olive grove called the Garden of Gethsemane, and he instructed his disciples, "Sit here, while I go and pray." He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to be filled with horror and deepest distress. And he said to them, "My soul is crushed by sorrow to the point of death; stay here and watch with me." (Mark 14:32-34)
In Israel where the history of the Bible is centered around. As much palm trees and coconut trees we see here in Hawaii, in Israel they have olive trees, or olive groves. What the people of Israel will do is they take the pit of the olive fruit, and they crush it between a millstone. Out of that one olive pit they produce one drop of olive oil. Olive oil is precious, valuable and expensive stuff. This transformation can only happen by being crushed, smashed or pounded. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, a place full of olive trees (olive grove), says, my soul is crushed. Feeling the weight of the world on His shoulders, carrying the sins of the world - what could be more painful the that? So what does He do? Jesus turns to the Father, for healing and comfort.
Isn't it amazing how this transformation that takes place in Jesus' life, as He has to go through a period of intense suffering. Sometimes I go through pain and suffering, and there were times even I felt like saying, "my soul is crushed, I feel like someone is pounding and smashing me!" Yet, only one person can bring healing, comfort and wholeness into my life. I need to turn to the only one that can do anything about this pain. The one that can heal me, conform me and bring wholeness when all I can feel is intense suffering. I need to turn to Jesus. Keep my eyes on Jesus, and it will be easier when I need to turn to Him.
Father I pray, that I can help anyone that has turned away from You when feeling hurt, pain and suffering, that I can point them back to Jesus. In everything I do I pray I can bring them back to You. In Jesus Name I Pray these things. Amen.