Matthew 26:36-39
He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:38).


Check out the needs Paul expressed to Timothy during a time of great distress (2 Timothy 4:9,13).


Do you believe sharing a need is selfish or weak? Do you tend to isolate yourself when you’re in need? What choices can you start making to challenge these beliefs and patterns?

Redwood trees can grow to incredible heights—some reaching more than 375 feet! Yet most redwoods have a shallow root system that typically burrows less than 10 feet into the ground.

So how do the massive redwoods stay upright? What keeps them from crashing to the ground, especially when strong winds blow? Their secret is that they depend on each other. Although redwood roots aren’t deep, they spread out more than a hundred feet from their bases and intertwine with the roots of other redwoods.

In a way, these tall trees are like friends who turn to other friends in their time of need. They don’t stand alone. They don’t isolate. They reach out and weather the winds of life together.

One of the clearest examples of this found in Scripture occurred the night Jesus was arrested and betrayed (Matthew 26:36-38). That night, Jesus and His disciples walked to an olive grove outside Jerusalem. Jesus fully knew the awful “cup” of suffering He was about to “drink” (Matthew 26:39). At one point, He turned and said to three of His disciples, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:38).

In other words, Jesus shared with His friends the depth of anguish He was feeling and then told them what He needed: “Stay here and keep watch with me.” He needed His friends to be with Him and to pray as the dark night unfolded.

Jesus wasn’t being selfish or weak. Nor did He isolate Himself. Along with praying to His heavenly Father, He opened up to friends about His feelings and needs so that they could best know how to support Him in His time of great distress. Turning to godly friends can help us continue to stand tall for Jesus.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 9:20-31

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5 Responses to “turning to friends”

  1. Gary Shultz says:

    This blog is a little sour, at least for me. I have often found friends to be a great resource; however, as Jesus found that night, they all failed. I do believe God can and will lead people to you in times of need; however, the best line of support for me is the path to the Father. Should we share, or course, should we be transparent, and open, yes; however, my anchor needs to be on the rock. If you find a friend who is anchored there, I do agree, you have help. Storms often find slipping anchors, that’s why God sends friends with good anchors, works for me.I still enjoyed your thoughts and the process of allowing me to chug through them. Thanks.

  2. Mike Wittmer says:

    I’m struggling with a friend who was particularly unfriendly. I said “I’m done with them,” but this makes me think that was a selfish response. Maybe their unfaithfulness is an opportunity for me to show mine. And if Jesus needed friends, then I do too.

  3. seeking777always says:

    Even though the three followers failed Jesus that night, the important thing to remember here is that Jesus was willing to turn to them in his time of need.

    They could have done a lot better job of supporting Jesus though. I don’t think that I would be as forgiving if some of those closest to me “fell asleep on the job” so to speak.

    Perhaps a better example would be to use Mark 8:29. This is the passage in which Peter claims Jesus is the messiah. Or perhaps we should focus more on the fact that Jesus was that “anchor” his followers needed when they were in need. John 14:1-4.

    Either way we can learn a lot from the illustration of the redwood trees. I believe that Good Solid Friends in the Faith are a very important aspect of our growth in God. We depend on them to keep us in check and we do the same to them.

    The lesson here for me today is that no matter how unfaithful your friends can be at times, what matters the most is that we remain faithful to them and more importantly God.


  4. sercher says:

    There’s a great lesson for all of us, indeed. The Lord showed us that we are not to rely on ourselves in our prayers. Yes, trusting God as a Rock is fundamental in our Christian lifes but we have a true word that a prayer can be ” powerful and effective” (James 5:16) when someone is there praying for you.
    In the passage we read that Jesus “took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee”. Why so many? I think Jesus wanted to show them that a common prayer CAN support and build up in toughest times. The apostles would definitely have had to recall this moment later in their future lives. “Brethren, pray for us.” (1 Thessalonians 5:25) . Why should we act likewise?

  5. Gary Shultz says:

    Thank you folks, OK, maybe a little less sour, but I think you know how it goes some times. I really like what 777 said. Jesus knew they would fail, but He still turned to them, good stuff, just like friends.

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