Thought For The Day 08/27/13


The Spirit Is Willing But…..




 “God makes three requests of his children: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, now”

African-American Proverb


How many of you know where the phrase “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” comes from? Well the tale is told in Matthew 26: 36-46 which recalls the night when the Son of Man would be betrayed. And as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, He asked those with Him,  Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, to keep watch during the time that the Son was communing with the Father. And upon His return to the men not once but three times, He found them asleep and the phrase “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” sprang from His lips as He admonished them!


Matthew 26:36-46 GNT, 

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Grief and anguish came over him, 38 and he said to them, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want.”

40 Then he returned to the three disciples and found them asleep; and he said to Peter, “How is it that you three were not able to keep watch with me for even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 Once more Jesus went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cup of suffering cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 He returned once more and found the disciples asleep; they could not keep their eyes open.

44 Again Jesus left them, went away, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look! The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinners. 46 Get up, let us go. Look, here is the man who is betraying me!”


In the two millennia since that night, time and tide has altered our understanding of exactly the intent of the words as they were first uttered. What is meant in Matthew is that we humans find it difficult to live up to the high moral standards we have set for ourselves! But these days, it is less a moral standard we seek and more a human desire that we label with this phrase!


Any time we hope and desire that something occur and yet we are unable to see that desire through to fruition or accomplish our aim, we are apt to speak these very same words. In fact, right now I know what it is I want to convey to you but the effects of a late summer cold have sapped my strength and have addled my brain! Yes, I am “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” personified right this moment, and this state is certainly not of my choosing, which is the entire point of the matter.


The sleepy followers that night in the Garden did not deliberately set out to let Christ down. But despite our best efforts, we are human….complete with all the frailties and weaknesses each of us were given by the hand of our Heavenly Father when He created us! Yes we know what needs doing. Certainly Peter and the others did. We may even know what is needed to accomplish the deed. Those three certainly did. But we can no more guarantee the success of the matter. All we can do is our best. And while it may not be enough, if we have given our all…our entire heart and soul, then we have done the very best this very frail human body can endeavor. And we will be worshiping Him with a complete and willing spirit, despite the frail body we dwell in.


“35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Matthew 22:35-38 NIV


Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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