Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens
As Easter approaches I’ve been pondering Gethsemane and all that Jesus endured. I had an “aha” moment when the Holy Spirit reminded me, rather painfully, of how in the past, I had felt rather badly that Peter and John were unable to stay awake and be with Jesus in His time of need. But I have learned something about the human body that makes me regret the “tsk, tsk” that I felt, even if I never voiced it.
What I learned is that the central nervous system has a limited capacity (and since each of us is unique, so will that capacity be unique to each individual). Just like electrical wiring, our nervous system can only carry the amount of stimuli for which it was designed. Once you reach that amount, you will throw a circuit breaker, so to speak., and the system shuts down before it is damaged.
I can imagine the furrowed brows and questioning looks. So, let me give you an example. I was a soloist years ago. When I would go to church on Sundays, I would be there for only a few minutes before I would begin to yawn. The pastor would call on me to sing and there would be ABSOLUTELY NO yawning. But the moment I returned to my seat the yawing started.
This both puzzled and distressed me greatly. I repented regularly for appearing so bored that I would yawn in the Lord’s face! I mentioned it one time to my friend Dr. Jim Wilder, who also is a psychologist and researcher.
Knowing that I am highly sensitive, he explained that the yawning was the signal that my para-sympathetic nervous system was shutting down from sensory overload. I was encountering too many burdens in the people around me for my spirit to process, turn into prayers for the people and then off load them to Jesus. Too many burdens coming too fast for my nervous system to process!
I think that is exactly what was happening with Peter and John. They were with Jesus as He was taking on the sins of the world—the past, present and future. The force of the burdens coming upon Him at that time would have overloaded anyone’s nervous system! It was so powerful it actually made Jesus sweat blood. That is serious pressure.
Remember that I didn’t have to touch anyone, be praying for them or anything—I was just in the vicinity, and I would begin to experience sensory overload and yawn. Peter and John were Jesus closest friends and in the vicinity of unimaginable pain, trouble and despair…they were human beings with finite capacity. No wonder they were out cold!
I have much more respect for these rugged pioneers of our faith. I also want to refrain from even thinking, much less acting like, “Come on, boys. All He’s asking is an hour of your time…” There is an underlying rebuke in that and I do not want to judge, not even a little bit!
Has Holy Spirit been shedding some light on something in your life, putting things together in ways you had not thought before? I’d appreciate your sharing so that we can all be uplifted. Just drop you “aha” in the comment box.
Blessings, Carol www.fromgodsheart.com