After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees.
The Gospel of Mark informs us that Jesus took Peter, James and John with him to the garden of Gethsemane. He did not take all of the disciples. He chose the three who were the closest to Him. Peter, James and John were right where God directed them that night.
They were in the garden because Jesus took them to the garden.
They spent the night on the cold ground, and experienced the traumatic arrest of Jesus because God wanted them there.
We often convince ourselves that if we stay where God wants us, we will always experience the mountain tops. We tell ourselves that to stay within the will of God will guarantee that we will avoid the valley, and this simply is not so. When we walk in the will of God we will sometimes find ourselves in difficult and painful circumstances.
Our flesh screams that to be in the right place is to be in the comfortable place, yet Jesus tells us something very different.
To be in the will of God can often result in suffering. This suffering is not in vain. It is for a very important reason. It is for His glory and it is for the refining of our faith. To stay on the mountain top is to remain immature in our faith, and He simply cannot allow it.
These disciples experienced the garden for many reasons that are not all understood, but one very important and obvious reason was for us. If John had not experienced the garden he could not have written the account that we now have in our New Testament. We often experience the gardens in our own lives for the benefit of someone else. We encounter suffering because this world is full of pain, and what good would we be if we were immune to pain. We feel pain and walk through the fire so that we can help someone else as they experience the heat of the flames.
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net photo by dan.