I long to be in the presence of God. So many times I have imagined myself there in first century Judea, sitting on the hill listening to Jesus teach, walking with Him to the next town, sharing a meal with Him and His disciples. I wonder what it would have been like to experience those events, like in Luke 5:1-11.
Was the sun hot and the sky cloudless? I know there are storms there but I can never picture that – only hot bronzy blue sky and sun that makes white spots in the eye and light that reflects up from the water and makes all of our brows furrowed from squinting.
Was it your second best boat that you lent Him? You were still doing your work while He spoke to the ones lingering on the shore. Did you wish you could throw down those maddeningly empty nets and drift close and lie back under a tarp for shade and just listen? Maybe He kept looking at you and you kept doing the work poorly out of distraction. Maybe your longing was reaching Him in palpable waves and He pitched His voice louder in your direction.
You and He both knew the family needed to eat that day. So He told you, “Try the deeper water, friend.” When you pulled up all those fish, what did you think? How much of it could be dried and salted? How much could be sold and the money spent on grain? How many days off would this catch give you to listen, really listen?
I wish I had been there to rub my palms bloody raw with hauling up that load of abundance from the sea. I wish the salt of my dripping sweat could have mingled with the salt of the water. But I can still hear Him, “Come, follow Me.”
When my nets are empty and my life seems unproductive, I long to ditch it all and just be with Jesus.
But His “Come follow” doesn’t always look like leaving. Sometimes it is staying. Enduring. Persevering.
If I want to be there, where Jesus is, then sometimes I must stay here.
Since He is I AM, then He is here.
“Come follow Me. Follow My heart into the service of the one who cries in your lap right here. Follow My compassion in the words you speak to the person sitting across from you. Follow my wisdom in the decisions you make for those I have placed in your care. Follow My will in the prayers you pray from this life where I have placed you.”
Friends, I pray that all of us will respond to the unique call of “Come follow Me” Jesus offers us.
Has God called you to leave or stay in this season of life? How can we pray for you?