Surfer Bethany Hamilton was temporarily unable to enter the ocean. She lost an arm to a shark. Sitting on the shore with her father, she looked at the sun setting on the horizon and saw nothing but unanswered questions. She asked him, “What is God doing?” and “What do I do now?” To his answer, “You do what’s next,” she asked, “How do I know what’s next?” Her father answered as our Father answers, “Watch and pray.”
I imagine the disciples asked similar questions as they looked into the waning light at
Gethsemane, not really understanding what Jesus was doing. And what about you and me? Are these not questions we ask in our personal “Gethsemanes”? They are further-than-we-can-see, deeper-than-we-can-dive questions, and when God’s answers don’t seem to fit, it’s because they don’t—yet. His “watch and pray” answer is bigger than our questions and can be for us as it was for the disciples, more than we can do. When we don’t understand what God is doing, don’t know what to do next and can’t see far enough to know what is next, He knows; “Sit here, yes, right here in Gethsemane, while I pray,”
When we can’t watch and pray, He takes care of it. When it’s time to get up and go with Him, His “watch and pray” answer begins to fit and we see something of what he means. Bethany Hamilton said that He means for her to be able to reach with one arm more people for Jesus than she ever could have with two. I really like this answer. It reminds me of the One who reached, with both hands nailed to the cross, more people than He could have had He taken the nails out.
Jesus suffered Gethsemane to overcome our
Gethsemane sufferings. Have you been sitting there long enough? Then it’s time to get up and go with Jesus, know something of what He means and see His answers fit.
Author: Carolyn Roehrig