“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’” -Luke 22:39-46
I am amazed at the patience of Jesus. In the text, he instructs the disciples, “pray that you will not fall into temptation.” Then, off by himself, he prays with an intensity I cannot even understand. Returning, he finds his disciples sleeping – exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
How many times will Jesus have to teach us the same lessons over and over again before we obey? What is inside of us that so badly wants to rebel against him? This year I have been reminded dozens of times of Amy Carmichael’s saying, “A cup brimful of sweetness cannot spill even a drop of bitter water no matter how suddenly jarred.” Sadly, what reminded me of this saying was that something had shaken me, and what had spilled out was… bitter.
I am amazed at the patience of Jesus.
And I am thankful that I am adopted and accepted as his child, and that he is continually working on me, showing me new (or old and sadly familiar) ways that he can bring me cleansing and healing.
So, if you are reading this devotion, this is the challenge. Pray that you will not fall into temptation. And if you find that you have fallen – asleep or in some other way – get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.
Dave Brown is a former camper, summer staff member and has served the camp in leadership and other ways for many years. He is an engineer by day and a writer and doodle artist by night. Check out his work, including his new children’s book “No Learning Allowed” at www.davidbrownauthor.com.