“Sit ye here while I go and pray yonder.”
Matthew 26:36, KJV
by J.R. Miller
You and I have often felt that experience, that disappointment. There has arisen, mayhap [‘perhaps’] a great opportunity for Christian service. Some are sent to the front; some are sent to the middle. But WE are made to lie down in the rear.
Perhaps sickness has come; perhaps poverty has come; perhaps obloquy [‘censure, blame’] has come; in any case we are hindered and we feel sore. We do not see why we should be excluded from a part in the Christian life. It seems like an unjust thing that, seeing we have been allowed to enter the garden, no path should be assigned to us there.
It is a hard thing to be kept in the background at a time of crisis. In the Garden of Gethsemane eight of the eleven disciples were left to do nothing. Jesus went to the front to pray; Peter, James and John went to the middle to watch; the rest sat down in the rear to wait.
Methinks that party in the rear must have murmured. They were IN the garden, but that was all; they had no share in the cultivation of its flowers. It was a time of crisis, a time of storm and stress; and yet they were not suffered to work.
Be still, my soul, it is not as thou deemest! Thou art NOT excluded from a part of the Christian life. Thinkest thou that the garden of the Lord has only a place for those who walk and for those who stand! Nay, it has a spot consecrated to those who are compelled to SIT…….
When that experience comes to thee, remember, thou art not shunted. Remember it is CHRIST that say ‘Sit ye here.’ THY spot in the garden has ALSO been consecrated. It has a special name. It is not ‘the spot of wrestling,’ not ‘the place of watching’, but ‘the place of waiting.’
There are lives that come into this world neither to do great work, nor to bear great burdens, but simply to be; …….they are the flowers of the garden which have had no active mission. They have wreathed no chaplet; they have graced no table; they have gladdened the sight of JESUS. By their mere perfume, by their mere beauty, they have brought Him joy; by the very preservation of their loveliness in the valley they have lifted the Master’s heart. Thou needst not murmur shouldst thou be one of these flowers!”
J. R. Miller (1840 – 1912) James Russell Miller was born on March 20, 1840 at Frankfort Springs, Pennsylvania and died on July 2, 1912. Besides authoring over 80 books, booklets, and pamphlets, Dr. J.R. Miller was the Editorial Superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication, and a very active pastor in a succession of churches. He had a strong popularity among that generation of believers.
This was sent to me from a dear friend; she had taken it from a very old devotional, published in 1925. However, the truths are not dated. They speak to us, long after the writer has gone to heaven.
These principles come to us, especially with our disabilities– mental, emotional and physical. Perhaps they meet us in a hard place, but they can lead us into hope and purpose.
- Reflections of a Pilgrim: The Garden of Gethsemane (maryloucarney.com)
- Pride of Grace by William Gurnall (ilyston.wordpress.com)
- Uplifting Bible Scripture The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ John 20 Verses 12-17 (inspirationalchristianquotes.net)