A bruised reed He will not break. Isaiah 42:3
I can see it now. Jesus, on the night in which He was betrayed, goes to the olive grove called Gethsemane taking Peter, James and John with Him, and urges them to “Stay here and watch with me” while He goes on ahead to pray. “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” And He goes to bargain with God for His life. Meanwhile, Peter turns to the others and says, “Okay guys … John, why don’t you start us in prayer and I’ll close.”Then, Zzzzzzzzzzz. And this happened two more times!
I love it when things like this are recorded in scripture — when the disciples act as stupidly as I would in a similar situation. Heck, I’ve been known to fall asleep while people are talking to me. This basically tells me that, though Jesus had been talking about this for some time and even said at dinner that this was the night it would all come down, they still didn’t get it. They had no clue what was coming.
God is unbelievably patient with us to the point of being lenient. He remembers that we are made out of dust. We are such fragile souls — like reeds swaying in the wind. This is what mercy is all about, and how fortunate we all are that God is so merciful. God could have rained down fire from heaven on those three guys for their complete oblivion over what was really going on, especially after Jesus told them, and then He even reached out to them for help in His experience of human weakness, and they couldn’t even stay up with Him.
It’s comforting. To know that the people God uses in scripture are so full of human incapability. They are weak, scared, sleepy, too small for their armor, with thorns in their flesh, and they stutter. What’s your problem? Let me give you a hint: it doesn’t matter. It’s pointless what your excuse is, because when He uses us it’s everything from God and nothing from us anyway.