Have you ever experienced something in life where you’ve caught your heart desiring to go further into the emotion of the experience, but your body just seems to shut down? If you’ve ever suffered with depression then you are probably all too familiar with this. Jesus is quite familiar with it too.
“He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed… ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.’”-Matthew 26:37, 41 (NLT)
If I had a dollar for every time verse 41 was quoted in my youth group days as a way to scare me into denying my body of its pleasures I’d surely have enough for coffee for a month. But read this verse in its context and it has an entirely different meaning.
Jesus was in the midst of deep sorrow when He spoke these words. He was grieving. He was mournful. And He chose that time to tell us that our spirit is willing but our body is weak.
Our spiritual selves are so eager, at times, to dive into whatever season the Lord has brought us into, longing to grow ever-nearer to our Savior. But our bodies are not always as willing or able. They are not meant to climb such great heights. They are ailing. They are weak. And in comes the temptation…
The temptation to believe we can’t endure. The temptation to believe that He has left us, or brought us into something bigger than we can take. The truth is, He has brought us into something bigger than our bodies can take—but our spirits are willing, and He is faithful to supply for all of our needs.
If the Lord has brought you into a season of sorrow, might I invite you to heed this gentle word from the Spirit that says to be kind to your body, and gird up against the temptation that is bound to come? In life there are so many seasons, and He is good through them all. Be kind to your body in whatever season you are in. Let your soul explore the depths of your sorrow with your Savior. And keep the Truth as close as your breath.
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