Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”—Luke 22:39-46 (NLT)
A lot of people aren’t going to work today for a couple of reasons. One, Call of Duty: Black Ops came out last night at midnight. Two, everybody that bought a copy last night ran home and played it online against each other until about 5AM. I’m sure as I write this that there are still some industrious folks out there working through some missions. I guess that is some dedication and endurance right there.
Jesus asked the disciples to stay up with Him on the most important night on earth… more important even than the night he was born. He warned them beforehand to pray for endurance, walked a short distance away from them, and then prayed by Himself as He grieved the death He was about to suffer, sweating drops of blood… and yet the disciples fell asleep. Matthew 26 shows that Jesus returned to them three times and found them asleep!
Has God ever placed you in a situation that required such endurance and dedication? I must confess that I used to be able to do that for pursuits like a Call of Duty, but the older I get, the more of a toll that it takes. I think there have been times in everyone’s life where God has called us to endurance… the birth of a child, the illness of a loved one, the grief of a friend, the worry of a parent. If you have a story that you would like to share, please leave it in the comments.