Do you ever look around at others, perceiving them to have it all together, having the perfect faux Facebook family (my ____________________ is the most wonderful/beautiful/talented/smartest/ spiritual _____________________ in the world, y’all!!) and think to yourself, “Lord, How come I can’t have anything close to that?”
Or perhaps it may be when the Lord confronts you with a particular sin and you look around to point to others, who you think may have committed the same sin and say, “Yeah but, what about Johnny?”
My attitude, many times, seems to be envious that someone else is being blessed and I seem to be short-changed by God, in life and the things that I have to go through. Can you imagine God, in all His grace and mercy, short-changing anyone?
One day, after Jesus had been crucified on a cross for my sins and was buried and rose again on the third day, appeared before hundreds of people as a witness of his resurrection. He also appeared to his disciples and especially to Thomas to which Thomas said, “My Lord and my God” after seeing the nail scarred hands and side.
In John 21, it says that after those things happened, Jesus again showed himself to his disciples, I think to put them back on track. To give them the right direction to follow. For seven of the twelve had decided to go back to commercial fishing, their former profession. They spent all night fishing and had caught nothing.
In the morning, as they returned to shore, they saw a man standing on the beach and he called out to them, “Children, do you have any food?” The man was Jesus. He had asked them if they had caught even enough to have something to eat for the day, much less sell . They had to admit, they caught nothing.
He told them to cast their net on the right side of their boat. I’m sure they thought this man was crazy, why should it matter if it was the left side or the right side, the fish aren’t restricted by what’s on the surface. I invite you to read the rest of the story for all the details. They caught a lot of fish, but that was just a opportunity for them to see Jesus work.
Jesus had hot charcoaled fish sandwiches for them waiting on the shore. He wanted to feed them, while he talked with them about what was to be their calling in life It was during this time that Jesus restored Peter by asking him if he loved Jesus. He asked him using three forms of the word love. It has been suggested, one for each time Peter denied Jesus, before his Crucifixion. Jesus instruction to Peter, after the questioning and answers, was simply “Follow Me.”
20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” John 21:20-22 NKJV
Instead of just accepting and doing what Jesus said to do, Peter had to start comparing and pointing others out. I do that as well.
Today, I am feeling down. I wonder why-why it is the way it is? Why does my calling seems to be so different, then other’s I see? Why do I seem to be a dodecahedron in a square hole? Why? Why? Why? I understand being unique, but fear being seen as being bizarre.
With the previous paragraph being said, I needed to be reminded of Jesus words back to Peter, and by extension, to me, Jesus said, “What is that to you? You follow Me.”
Whether I understand it or not, the Lord bundled this thing, called “Steve”, together as He designed it, to accomplish the purpose He has set for it. Regardless of my circumstances, if I go alone or with others, whatever the situation may be, I am to follow Jesus Christ.
I am reminded of the old camp song, “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus”. Verse 2 says, “Though none go with me, I still will follow…….No turning back, no turning back.”
Lord, may I faithfully live my life for you. May I die to my selfish ways. May I effectively serve you. May I know your will for my life. May I have a heart to love and serve my fellow man, as you did, that they may see your loving kindness and glorify you. Amen