where you do not want to go

Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” ... And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them ... When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” [John 21:18-22 ESV]

It is so easy when you hurt so bad, or hear something you do not like, to look at others.
And ask 'why' questions like:
  • Why do others, like John, seem to have easier journeys.
  • Why is my journey so often a painful one?
  • Why aren't my prayers answered?
Jesus answers our 'why' questions with another question: "what is that to you?"
I think that the 'why' questions are unfruitful ones that cause us to obsess.
And wallow in our pain rather than process it and move through it.

Jesus ends by telling Peter "You follow Me!"
He makes no apology and offers no excuse.
In fact he emphasizes it by saying it twice.

Even in difficult places, "where you do not want to go", following Jesus is essential.
In such places our focus and our motivation must not be on:
  • our pain - hurt and sorrow can blind us;
  • our circumstances - discontentment often robs us of wisdom;
  • other people - jealousy will impair us.
Following Jesus requires us to look up and not look around.
It requires us to trust him for today and tomorrow.
And it demands to let go of our fear of going where we don't want to go.

Help me Lord to follow you and not worry about where that takes me.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. Unfortunately it's far too easy for us to forget that our journey is not going to be the same as someone else's, and that we don't always know what struggles another person may be going through.

  2. I have to agree that the why questions are unfruitful. Life is full of these kinds of questions and if we focus on them they can tie us in knots and prevent us from doing what God wants us to do. We need to trust God and go on with His will for us.


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