Gethsemane: The garden of lonliness.

INTERESTING FACT: There are 39 root causes of all illness.

It states biblically that Jesus received  39 stripes, that is 39 lashes. However. At the time, the number 39 was a Jewish law.

It is a defining fact that Jesus was not whipped by Jews, he was whipped by Romans and they had NO regard for Jewish law and let’s face it, it is believable he was whipped MANY more times than Jewish law required.

For me, the most important wounds Jesus received were the ones beneath his crown of thorns, a crown which WOULD have penetrated his scalp, because for me? That represents him experiencing a battle I have fought my whole life with mental health.

But MORE than that? It was his experience in Gethsemane that is truly representative of my struggle. The men with him, who wrote the bible, wrote it with the power of hindsight, but at the time, they had no idea what was going on. They didn’t understand his fear, his inner turmoil at what was coming. He was ALONE in that struggle. I have a saviour who is touched by the feelings of my infirmities. He can wholly empathise because he experienced it in that garden.

He pleads with his disciples to keep watch and they fell asleep, they couldn’t even stay awake to watch out, they didn’t even understand what they were supposed to be watching out for (soldiers were already on their way, one supposes).  He had to go through his struggle without ANY support because none of them could imagine what was to come.

In this moment, he has never been more alone because no one understood his inner turmoil. Isn’t that just typical of what we go through in our struggle for mental health?

NO ONE can understand us. OUR struggle is made all the more painful because of that. It isn’t just our lack of control over our circumstances or minds. It is that loneliness that derives from that lack of understanding that makes the struggle even more unbearable.

We, like Christ, carry our crosses on our own, entirely alone. We didn’t just visit the garden of Gesthemane however. WE live there! And that is where I believe those extra lashes come in, because…

…I do believe, those extra lashes cover that and  I find myself, not feeling quite as alone in my struggle as I possibly could because of what he did, who he is and the relationship with him that I have! I am not alone, not only because he is ever present in my life but also because he has experience of my most difficult struggle…

LONELINESS!

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