It could have been me among that group of dosing disciples. There they were in the Garden of Gethsemane, having just been warned by Jesus to watch and pray as He moved off to pray alone. Coming back to them, Jesus was dismayed to find them all sleeping and asked, “Are you sleeping? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you won’t fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:38) Yes, it could have been me that Jesus found asleep. For how many times have I started to pray only to have my mind wander and become distracted after only a few minutes?
That could have been me standing in the Praetorium where Pilate’s company of soldiers had gathered. I could have been part of that rough crowd of hardened soldiers as they delighted in taking turns physically and mentally inflicting pain on Jesus. I would have laughed along with them as they made fun of Jesus by placing some cast off cloak from a Roman Officer onto His shoulders. I would have cackled with glee when one of the soldiers twisted a bunch of thorny vines into a makeshift crown and pushed it roughly onto His head. And we would all heckled and scoffed Jesus as we feigned our allegiance to this King of the Jews. Yes, it could have easily been me as I was swept along in that crowd mentality of sadistic brutality.
That could have been me in place of Peter. How can I self-righteously think that I would have behaved any differently? Peter had followed Jesus for three years, watching as He preached, healed, and performed miracle after miracle. But despite all Peter had been part of, he still denied he even knew who Jesus was. Yes, it could have easily been me disowning the Lord. For any time I allow fear to mute my voice in speaking the truth of God…I’m silently renouncing Him…more afraid of possible retribution or embarrassment than speaking up. That’s because when I’m silent instead of standing up for what’s right and good and godly…I’m quietly condoning sin.
When you have night blindness, you have limited visibility in the dark…and take it from me, it makes driving at night very difficult at times. When we’re walking in the darkness of sin it’s much like having night blindness…we’re unsure of where we’re going, we’re full of fear, and we’re apprehensive about what’s up ahead. But the blindness of sin can be overcome by the light of God…for this light depicts the very essence of His character and holiness. And when we walk in that spiritual illumination of God’s light, our path is made sure.
This verse hinges on our faith and trust in God. For when we ask God for something, we must trust that He’ll give us what’s the very best according to His Will. When we seek, we must have faith that we’ll find His perfect plan and purpose for our life. And when we knock, we must be confident to walk through the door He opens for us.
As Believers, we will all go through seasons of “wandering in the desert.” Sometimes, it’s because of our own stubborn disobedience…sometimes, it’s because we are not yet prepared for the next step God has for us. But regardless, there are two things to remember. First, God has been with us faithfully during our wanderings, for in Deuteronomy 2:7 God says, “The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These 40 years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” The other is that there will come a time when God will say, “It’s been long enough…time to move on.”
Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s loving kindness towards us. For as sinners, we have no right to claim that any of our good works will get us any closer to heaven…for they won’t. It is only by putting our faith and trust in Jesus that we can be saved…and it is only by His unmerited grace and mercy towards us that it can happen.