- 1.(of a person or other living thing) lose or lack vitality; grow weak or feeble.
- 2.suffer from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation. (Oxford Dictionary)
Where, when my aching grows,Where when I languish,Where in my need to know, where can I run?Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?Who, who can understand?He only One.
Lately, I have been wondering what Christ knows about languishing. Does He, a God, really understand about uncertainty, about our mortal limitations and constant "need to know?" Does He understand what it's like to know what you should do, but are unable, for whatever mental and emotional reasons, to actually do it?
I don't know the answer, but I do have enough faith to believe that Christ does understand uncertainty. I believe He faced it in the garden. I believe He continues to languish under the load of our collective uncertainty, as well as our stagnation, sorrow, and sin. I do not believe Christ was an omniscient being when He entered Gethsemane. He does not enter Gethsemane, either His or ours, as the triumphant Son of God, but as a sensitive, anxious, frightened mortal being. The voice I hear as He asked, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me" is not one that knows exactly how His trial will end, or how long it was meant to last, or if He could even perform the task at all. In my mind, it was a voice that trembled with bone breaking doubt. That vision of Christ is relatable to me. The record says He fell on His face under the weight of it all. He knows what it is like to be totally alone in that feeling, to have disciples falling asleep at the crucial moment He needed them. He knows what it is like to feel "exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death." (Matthew 26:38-39)
I don't know how much longer this pandemic will last. I don't know how much longer the other garbage my life is throwing at me will go on. And I have learned a bitter truth that some trials in life do not have a foreseeable mortal end. For all I know, they may go on forever.
However, I believe Christ knows about the trials that feel neverending. Christ continues to suffer with us to this day, 2000 years after His Gethsemane. He has yoked Himself to us, even now, treading the winepress alone until every grape is turned to wine, and every dredge from our bitter cup is drunk. I have to believe He knows how to succor His people in their infirmity. (Alma 7)
As I languish "in my Gethsemane," I want to believe that He knows how to "reach me in my reaching." Looking out my window at the snow falling again, I believe that "spring has to come." I don't know what damage this long freeze, metaphorical and literal, will have on us all when it's all over, but I believe life is always strong enough to heal and prevail. I want to believe God will prevail in my life. I want to believe that this languishing must end.