Read Matthew 26:36-41
They come into our lives, beginning when we are small children, and they continue to touch our lives, even into old age. They may be relatively small pricks that sting our hearts, or they may lodge inside us, throbbing like on-going aches. I'm talking about disappointments. Unmet expectations. They are surely a part of living in the here-and-now. Usually when I think of disappointments, I remind myself of the precious truths we Who love Jesus have. We know that the Savior is so great that He is at work in ways we don't often understand, even in our disappointments, Romans 8:28. Many of us have clung to that truth, even as we were weeping, knowing that the One Who proclaimed it to us is always truthful and powerful enough to do what He has said, Titus 1:2; Hebrews 11:3. We also rejoice in the certainty that Jesus has prepared a place for us where there will never again be any disappointment to mar our lives. No, not even a tiny unmet expectation, Revelation 21-22.
Yet, today, we must deal with life as it is. People sometimes let us down. We sometimes don't receive what we would love to have. Relationships aren't always what we wish they would be, and though the Lord gives good gifts, James 1:17, we still are faced with broken dreams in this life. And I wondered? Does Jesus understand, and when He walked among us, the perfect God/Man, John 1:14, did He as we do, experience disappointment? Let's look at the scripture to see what it says.
In Matthew 26:36-41, we get a glimpse into a very personal and intimate time in Jesus' earthly walk. This incident, experienced shortly before Jesus' arrest allows us to see the Savior's suffering and the battle He won, even before the agonies of His mock trials and His crucifixion. Jesus chose to spend these moments with Peter, James and John. This was the third such time mentioned in the scriptures, where Jesus spent special time with those three apostles. They were also present when Jesus was transfigured, Matthew 17:1-8 and, they were with the Savior when He raised the synagogue official's daughter, Mark 5:35-43. They had had precious experiences with Jesus and they had seen wondrous things.
Yet, how different this time in the Garden was for Jesus and these men. There was no mighty miracle. Instead, there was the Savior's tears, Hebrews 5:7. He wanted these three to be with Him during the time prior to His atoning death on the cross. I know that Jesus likely knew that Peter, James and John would fall asleep, even before their eyes even became heavy. Yet, He had asked them to come and be with Him, and He awakened them more than once. Surely, in His humanity, Jesus felt disappointed, even though He understood the weakness of His friends.
Sometimes, when people experience difficulties and disappointments, their hearts grow callouses. Instead of empathy for others who suffer, they become jaded and hard. Not so with the Savior. Scriptures says that He is sympathetic because He has experienced the feelings we have, Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 4:15. What a comforting and tender reminder it is to me that my Savior understands the sting of disappointment. Therefore, He will not count it as insignificant when we come to Him for help, Hebrews 4:14-16. He is our sympathetic High Priest.
The hymn "Sweet Hour of Prayer" reaches out to us with these words: “Jesus Knows Our Every Weakness; Take It To The Lord In Prayer.”
Thank You Lord that we can come to You to receive both Your understanding and strength for each day.