"And you were following Jesus on all of those parts of your journey."I don't think that I had considered that yesterday when I penned my memories about my life and my family. In some strange brain connection Therese's thoughts reminded me of what Jesus told Peter:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go." Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me!" Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, "Lord, and what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" (John 21:18-22)Sometimes following Jesus takes us on a journey that is both hard and heartbreaking. Reading Jesus words to Peter so resonates with me this morning. It reminds me that sometimes our path takes us to places "where you do not wish to go". I am in such a place in this season of my life. I have had to take a month long sabbatical from work and church because of the difficult circumstances of my wife's hospitalization.. been almost 3 weeks now.. still struggling.. trying to walk again.. in physical therapy.
It is so easy when you hurt so bad to, like Peter, look at others and ask the 'why' questions. Why do others, like John, seem to have easier journeys.. why is my journey so often a painful one? To these questions Jesus answers our 'why' questions with another question: "what is that to you?" I think that the 'why' questions are unfruitful ones that cause you to obsess and wallow in your pain rather than process and move through it. Jesus ends by telling Peter "You follow Me!" He makes no apology.. offers no exuse.. He simply says that.. even in difficult places "where you do not wish to go".. our focus is to follow Him. Amen.