Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” Matthew 26:36 ESV (emphasis added)
It’s the night before the crucifixion and Jesus is now taking the 11 (Judas had left them) into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray for an extended time. Note that He separates the 11 into the three on His ‘executive team’ – Peter, James and John who go with Him a little farther into the garden and the eight who are left to sit and wait. We know of the three who continually fell asleep and could not watch as Jesus struggled in prayer that night. But let’s focus on the far side of the garden where the other eight were left.
It’s interesting to note that the Lord’s instruction was open ended. That is, they were told to sit while He took the three with Him. He let them know that He would not be far away – I’ll ‘go over there’ – that is, just separate enough from you all to have some privacy in prayer. The implication was that they were to wait for His return from His exercise with the three. They are not told what to do while He was gone, other than to ‘sit.’
How hard it is for Kingdom leaders when God says to us, ‘Sit down and wait.’ Leaders are people of action – always wanting to make something happen and never satisfied with the status quo. We want to ‘get on with it’ and do something – anything other than ‘sit.’ We grow restless quickly, thinking we are wasting precious time or not being ‘productive’ for the Lord. But it was at the word of Jesus, their Lord, that the eight were told to ‘sit.’ So… they sat down, ‘away from the action’ and waited for further instruction.
Has God told you to ‘sit down?’ Do you feel like you are on the siding watching the trains of life pass you by? Are you wondering if or when God will invite you back ‘into the game?’ He has good purposes for you and as part of that plan, He is now asking you to sit down. So, you may grumble or fight against it, thinking how unfair God is or how you are not being utilized as you desire. Or you can willingly obey His instruction and trust Him that when the time is right, you will be invited to once again get going.
Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going...” Matthew 26:45-46 ESV (emphasis added)
How’s your attitude?