Jesus asked His disciples to pray with Him for one hour. They heard His words, but they couldn’t stay awake. He then remarked “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Some people think Jesus was rebuking the disciples when He said that. Not me… I think He was expressing understanding, grace, and compassion. Jesus looked beyond the weak, sleeping flesh and saw spirits that were willing to be with Him no matter what.
At times in my career I’ve faced enormous workloads. The kind that stress me out – that wake me up at 4:00, 3:00, even 2:00am. My mind races and I can’t get back to sleep, so I get up, go to the office, and work.
Like the tired disciples, I hear the words of Jesus.“My burden is light.” “You shall find rest for your soul.” “I will keep you in perfect peace.” My spirit is willing – very willing – to know the reality of those statements, but my flesh is weak, so instead I experience anxiety, stress, and exhaustion.
Perhaps one day my spirit will grow strong enough to overcome my weaknesses. Until then, I rely on the grace of Jesus who understands that my spirit is willing to know Him to the fullest, but my weak flesh gets in the way.