Taking the Initiative Against Despair

February 18th, 2014 by JDVaughn Leave a reply »

Rise, let us be going —Matthew 26:46

In the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples went to sleep when they should have stayed awake, and once they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of having done something irreversible tends to make us despair. We say, “Well, it’s all over and ruined now; what’s the point in trying anymore.” If we think this kind of despair is an exception, we are mistaken. It is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize we have not taken advantage of a magnificent opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair. But Jesus comes and lovingly says to us, in essence, “Sleep on now. That opportunity is lost forever and you can’t change that. But get up, and let’s go on to the next thing.” In other words, let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.There will be experiences like this in each of our lives. We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them. The disciples, in this instance, had done a downright unthinkable thing— they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus. But our Lord came to them taking the spiritual initiative against their despair and said, in effect, “Get up, and do the next thing.” If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing? It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption.

Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.




February 18, 2014-JDV

Lord, when I first read the scripture and heard the sermon about how the disciples went to sleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, I was struck by their humanity and His deity.  The disciples slept and Jesus prayed.  Just like many of my experiences now; I sleep and Jesus prays for me, and lifts me up to the father. I was disappointed in the disciples; I wonder if you are disappointed in me when I am sleeping or working or otherwise distracted by what I believe are my pressing human needs?

And God says…”I was not disappointed in Jesus, and I am not disappointed in you, or the disciples.  Remember, that when I look at you, (or the disciples) I see Jesus and His actions, not yours, or theirs. I cannot look on your humanity, regardless of the good intentions, or outcomes.  I cannot judge your actions, diligence or lack of diligence because if and when I judge you, you and the disciples will miss the mark; every time. I can only look at Jesus. When you set your sights on Jesus, and are connected to Him, you are transformed and connected to Me. And you cannot miss the mark when you allow Jesus to live through you.  Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything you need, (material, spiritual, physical and emotional) will be provided. Even the ability to stay awake when required, will be provided as will the grace when you cannot.”


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