Lost for words - Hope 103.2

Lost for words

By David ReayThursday 15 Sep 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Mark 14:37-40

37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter,“Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

39 Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before.40 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say. (NLT)

Sometimes we just have no excuse. No words can adequately describe, let alone justify, our conduct or speech. There comes times when our failures are such that we don’t even begin to offer explanations or excuses.

It was like that in Gethsemane. Jesus, off at a distance, was wrestling with the issue of obedience to God. Did it have to be crucifixion? He wanted to obey, but couldn’t there be an easier sort of obedience?

Meanwhile, his most trusted followers fell asleep instead of praying. Confronted with this pathetic fact, they are lost for words. What can they say? “Sorry” doesn’t seem enough. And there are no grounds for self-defence.

When we fail God or others, sometimes words will fail us. We can simply admit in sheepish silence our inadequacies. To do so might seem to consign us to the scrapheap. But Jesus doesn’t have scrapheaps. He sticks with us in our failures even though these same failures cause us not to stick with him. He bears with us, accepting us in our good and not-so-good moments. This is why excuses and justifications are pointless in the light of his love.

We might not know what to say, but Jesus knows just what to say and do. And his words and actions towards us are expressions of sheer grace.

David Reay

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