Monday, April 23, 2012

I Follow Him

"Jesus said to him [Peter], 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!'" - John 21:22
I have always loved this passage in the book of John, where Jesus tells Peter what his life ministry will involve and how he will die. But Peter, always full of questions, looks over and sees John, and asks Jesus, "What about this man?" And Jesus response is that it doesn't matter what will happen to John; Peter knows whom he follows and where the Lord has asked him to go and that is enough. 

I am so much like Peter. I constantly look at those around me and compare what the Lord has given them to what He has given me, usually ending my comparison with a discontented "Why me?" directed at God.  

But Jesus' response is always the same: "You follow me!" I follow Him who died for me, who guaranteed by His righteousness that the Lord would be for me and not against me and would work all things for my good. I follow Him whose sovereign plans are perfect and whose timing is better than my own. I follow Him who created me, who both created and knows my deepest desires, weaknesses, strengths fears, plans and passions. Why do I question and compare? There is much rest to be found in knowing Him who I follow.

But more than that, and this is what I realized recently, He goes before me. Following has always seemed to be a very hard and heavy thing to me because I do not know where I am going, He hasn't promised that it will be easy, and it often means leaving behind comforts that I have come to love and walking into unknown territory. But it is not unknown to Him - He has gone before me! He has walked there first and now I only go where He has gone.  

It seems so simple now but I had never realized before the grace that is found in truly following Christ. Yes, sometimes (often) I will be asked to leave what is comfortable and easy, but I will not just be walking away from something. I will be walking towards Someone, Someone who is infinitely precious and valuable and for whom I desire to count all things as a loss compared to the greatness found in knowing Him.

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