The second turn

March 7, 2011

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon, he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

I remember when I was younger I though, if I were Peter….  How could they sleep at such a stressful time?  How could he deny his best friend?   I remember thinking that; sometimes earlier in my walk with God, when life was easy.

Then I turned ten.


These days, I’m likely to remember a song by Keith Green.  The lyrics of his songs always seem to speak to me right where I am at the moment.  The lyrics below are from the song, Grace by which I Stand. One of the verses came to mind.

Lord, I remember that special way, I vowed to serve you, when it was brand new.
But like Peter, I can’t even watch and pray, one hour with you, And I bet, I could deny you too.
But nothing lasts, except the grace of God, by which I stand, in Jesus.

As I grow and experience more of life (Perhaps it’s just as I experience more personal failures and struggles.)  I am more grateful for Grace.  I grow, and I am growing through the tough times more than the easy ones, I know that.  (But right now I would like to grow a little less.  But that could just be cowardice.)

When Peter denied Christ, he turned and wept bitterly, then he turned again and changed the world.  Because the second turn revealed the risen Messiah.  When we are in a place of doubt, depression, or despair, we need to turn again so we see a different point of view; until the Messiah comes into our frame.

It will require us to:  “Keep watch for one hour”  or more.  But the wait will be worth it.

I know there are days you will turn a second and third time;  maybe so much you will feel like you are spinning, but He eventually come back into focus.  He always does, in his perfect time.

Then it will be our turn to change the world.  Or at least help.


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