Their response both shocked and hurt, hurt deeply.
I found my zeal to pray for the group and the difficulties they were facing impacted. It was if the air had been let out of my passion to pray for them. When I turned to pray for them the questioning of my motives laid like a pall over my halting intercession.
A few months later I was reminded of Christ’s interaction with His disciples in John 13:1 – 4. The context and reality of what Jesus was facing there is stunning. He knows what is about to transpire. He knows that those whose feet He is about to wash are going to betray and abandon Him. With that certain knowledge He gets up, girds Himself, and engages in menial service to those who in a few short hours will fail Him.
I was filleted.
The desperate weakness of my heart was in full display. The group was not responding to me in any form that would even remotely compare to the disciples abandonment and betrayal of Christ, yet my feeble prayers for them were hindered. I was and still am ashamed of the shallowness of heart revealed.
I would love to report that I have fully repented of the weakness of both my faith and the practice thereof, but that would be disingenuous. My prayer increased. But there were still vestiges of my poor reaction to their rebuff.
I am so grateful, so completely overcome with gratitude that our Lord does not respond to us the way I respond to others attitudes and actions toward me. It has become one of my prayers that I become more like Him. Like John said in John 3:30, it is a must for me, He must increase, I must decrease. My only hope is for His life to fill and overwhelm mine.