Have you ever wondered, when hearing the crucifixion story, how the disciples could fall asleep in the garden? How could Jesus' best friends fall asleep when Jesus needed them most to stay awake, pray and comfort him at that hour?
"Why are you sleeping, he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." (Luke 22) And yet unfortunately.. they fell.. they fell asleep once again, lacking emotional and spiritual strength to be able to rise up from temptation.
I think in this day and age, it's easy for us to put up a front and pretend to be "strong".
We all want emotional and physical strength. We train for it, hope for it, and try to believe that we have it- that when the trials of life come upon us, we will be strong enough to overcome.
And yet our own strength will continue to fail us in the times we need it most. The disciples failed not because they didn't want to support their friend Jesus, but because they were not relying on strength from their own relationship with the Lord.
So what does it mean to get our strength from God, not from other people, and not from ourselves? How do we do that?
Nehemiah 5:16 says that "The joy of the Lord is my strength."
Isaiah 35:4 says "Tell everyone who is discouraged, be strong and don't be afraid. God is coming to your rescue."
Often when humans pretend to be strong, or tough, we see them putting on a mask and hiding their true feelings, maybe pretending that something doesn't bother them when it does. We see them pushing themselves to try harder, work harder, do this or that. But at the end of all that extra push, they become weary. Trying and doing and working leaves us exhausted. We truly are not strong enough to carry the burdens of this world, to make a difference, or to even sustain our own life.
But maybe that's ok.
Maybe human's weren't desired to "carry their own weight" maybe their purpose wasn't "personal strength" but instead they were created to look to God for strength.
While internal strength that we muster up quickly fades, strength from knowing the Lord is an abundant source of joy. When we are connected to God and His Word, we receive constant blessings and strength. We are continually given purpose for each day and hope for His second coming. When we are connected to Jesus, we have a strength that can't be touched.
Jesus says "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11: 28. We must receive strength for our daily battles by connecting to God. If we try to do it on our own, we will continually grow weary. I don't know about you but I want to learn to get strength from God whose sources are never failing.