Sometimes I fall asleep too.
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We all need friends to help us through the hardest moments of our lives. Sometimes we just need someone who is willing to sit with us so that we don’t feel completely alone when life seems almost too heavy to bear.
It’s impossible to know for certain due to the limited information we have, but I suppose that on the night when the crushing weight of all mankind was to rest upon his shoulders, the reason Jesus asked Peter, James and John to come with him was so that he wouldn’t be alone during what would be the most agonizing experience in all eternity.
Although these three friends could not help carry the burden, they could ensure that their friend didn’t have to feel alone.
But alas these closest friends failed to stay awake. When Jesus came back he found them sleeping and asked why his closest friends couldn’t seem to stay awake with him.
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Is it unfair to suggest that Peter, James and John let Jesus down when he really needed them?
Christ must have surely felt disappointed, but he didn’t unfriend, belittle or replace them because of their weakness. He knew that their souls were willing and could see the progress these men had already made and the potential they each had.
Often, like those three friends in the garden that night, our willingness to love and follow Jesus outpaces our physical capacity to do so.
We excitedly accepted the invitation to follow him and try our best to live his teachings. But sometimes when our discipleship really counts we let Jesus down.
Jesus figuratively comes and finds you or I sleeping when what he really needed was for us to be awake.
What prompted this thought was an experience I had earlier today where I held my wife as she cried. Cassandra is a remarkable, loving and brilliant mother who does her very best to nurture, teach and love our five children like Jesus would and our children are very fortunate to have her as their mother.
But sometimes, like all of us, Cassandra figuratively falls asleep and feels like she is a fraud and a failure. I’m certain she is not the only mother who feels like this when they aren’t as gentle, kind or patient as they desire and know they ought to be.
Fortunately Jesus looks upon our heart and the willingness of our minds rather than the outward weakness of our flesh. He doesn’t unfriend us, belittle us or replace us because of those weaknesses. He sees our progress and our potential and will continue to work with us and through us to achieve incredible things so long as we are willing to keep on trying, even if we fall asleep sometimes.