I have a scar on my right knee. As a matter of fact, I have several life-long souvenirs from up close encounters with the pavement via bikes, skateboards, etc. Spiritually speaking I also have similar reminders, but thankfully, following those over-the-handle-bars wipeouts, Jesus picked me up, dusted me off, and bandaged me up. The tough part was when He brought the bike back over and asked me to “Get back on.” Oswald Chambers said it so powerfully in the following devotion. It reminded me of our Lord’s incredible grace, take a look:
2/18 Devotional – Rise, let us be going —Matthew 26:46
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples went to sleep when they should have stayed awake, and once they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of having done something irreversible tends to make us despair. We say, “Well, it’s all over and ruined now; what’s the point in trying anymore.” If we think this kind of despair is an exception, we are mistaken. It is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize we have not taken advantage of a magnificent opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair. But Jesus comes and lovingly says to us, in essence, “Sleep on now. That opportunity is lost forever and you can’t change that. But get up, and let’s go on to the next thing.” In other words, let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.
There will be experiences like this in each of our lives. We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them. The disciples, in this instance, had done a downright unthinkable thing— they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus. But our Lord came to them taking the spiritual initiative against their despair and said, in effect, “Get up, and do the next thing.” If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing? It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption.
Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.
By Oswald Chambers