I am very sensitive to sleep deprivation. If I do not get at least 6 ½ hours of sleep a night, my brain gets fuzzy and I get extremely belligerent. I can easily trace the majority of arguments with family members to times after 9:30 PM, when I am usually in bed. I have tried to be accommodating during these times, but more often than not, I fail. And during these times, I can take comfort in the fact that God know exactly what I am feeling.
The Lord Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God. He experienced the same fatigue and stress I do when sleep deprived. In this passage from Mark, after a long day of teaching and healing, He wisely instructs His disciples to retreat to a desolate place to rest.
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Mark 6:31 (ESV)
And yet, there was no rest for Jesus.
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
Mark 6:34 (ESV)
If I was in Jesus’ situation, I would have had one of my many petulant outbursts and bemoaned the fact that I could not find rest, even after doing so much “good” for so many people. Thanks goodness Jesus is Lord and God. He had compassion on the crowd. He put aside His own need for rest and attended to our needs.
It is unlikely that I will consistently get my minimum amount of sleep that I desire. But that is no excuse for me to act out my frustrations when fatigued. I need to continue to look to the Great Shepherd, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to give me the same compassion and understanding for others as He did for His followers.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.