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The Sleepy Heads

esus was human, just like we are, but “Superhuman” too, and I think we are sometimes prone to forget His humanity. There was that time when He had been ministering to hurting people all day long and He just needed to be alone so, He distanced Himself from the hurting masses;[1] He was angry and “vented” that righteous anger on those who were perpetrators, buying and selling in His Father’s House;[2] He became weary and fell asleep in a tossing boat with water spraying up around Him and men rushing frantically around yelling at each other as they tried to keep the fishing boat from sinking;[3] and there were times when He just got tired of the pressure and retreated.[4] Oh, He could have called some angels to take over, but He never resorted to using His Superhuman side to escape unpleasant circumstances.

And He wasn’t angry with Peter, James, and John for falling asleep when He had asked them to “watch and pray”.[5] He understood their weakness. He knew what it was to be so tired at times that He might say, “No more. I need to rest.”

It’s all right to get so tired that you feel like you can’t put one foot in front of the other. It’s not bad to cry when your emotions soar to the pinnacle because of grief, pain, or loneliness. We are human and Jesus understands. We love deeply, as He planned for us to love, as we are commanded to love, and when that love is gone, He has given us the ability to grieve and weep, releasing those throbbing emotions and that is not wrong. The ability to grieve comes from Him. Why did He give us our tear glands? When the disciples carried the news to Jesus of John’s death, He withdrew from everyone in a boat and went to a lonely place by Himself.[6]

We’re commanded to “bear one another’s burdens”.[7] But how can I do that if you refuse to share your burden with me believing that it is denying His power within you by telling me that you’re hurting? It’s all right to hurt.

We certainly can’t deceive the Lord. He knows when our being weary comes from watching television until the wee hours of the morning, or staying at the party too long, or “cleaning out just one more cabinet.” He knows when our weariness comes from forcing our body beyond its limits. He knows when our grieving should be over, allowing Him to fill the void. We do not use grief to get attention or to play on the sympathies of others. We grieve deeply because He has given us the power to love deeply.

Do you remember the story of Eutychus?[8] He was a young man. We have no idea what he had been doing all day long, maybe working the fields, building a house, selling and buying? No matter what the day had been, Eutychus was weary, but he still had gone to the meeting where Paul was preaching. As he sat (imagine with me) in the room his head began to fall down on his chest and his eyes just would not stay open. So he thought, “It’s warm in here. I need to move around a little bit. That window is open, some fresh air will help.” So he climbed up on the windowsill and leaned back, breathing deeply of the cool air and feeling refreshed. But that “freshness” didn’t last long enough. Paul preached, and preached, and preached until after midnight. Eutychus succumbed to his need for sleep while sitting there in that window and he fell down three stories to his death. Of course the congregation rushed to see what had happened and Paul ran down the steps to see about the young man. He was dead. (Bored to death could have been put on his tombstone!) But Paul wasn’t angry because Eutychus went to sleep while he was preaching. He brought Eutychus back to life and the meeting lasted until daybreak. Don’t let thoughts of self-condemnation build nests in your head when you’re weary; don’t accept the accusation “what a weak Christian I am! Everyone knows that I’m still grieving and it’s been almost a month since she died.” Friend, if you have loved deeply the grief will always be there to some degree. There is a void in your heart when your mate of thirty-five years is gone and that void will never be completely filled.

Eutychus. Just a simple story from the Word that God has given us and brief excerpts from the life of Jesus, yes, but I relate. I can be so very tired and if the “Sandman” hasn’t thrown some “sand” my way through the night, I don’t get a lot out of my Bible reading; I fall asleep with my head on the bed as I pray, and the preacher just keeps preaching and the minutes drag by, so I nearly fall out of my pew. Jesus understands. You see, He understands my humanity. He was human a long time ago.

I understand.

This is one of the most precious truths He has given us. I understand.[9]

Thank you dear Lord for giving me those precious words, “I understand dear little one. Always remember, I understand.”

[1] Matthew 14:23

[2] Mark 11:15

[3] Mark 4:36-41

[4] Luke 5:15-16

[5] Matthew 26:36-46

[6] Matthew 14:12-13

[7] Galatians 6:2

[8] Acts 20:9

[9] The Bible: Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.