When Jesus Gets Too Far Ahead
Have you ever had one of those friends who was just a little "too Christian?" I've known a few people like this in my life. I once worked with a guy who had a Bible verse for every moment of the day and every circumstance.
You'd say, "I can't get my computer to work."
He'd say, "Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."
You'd say, "I'm going to be late to the meeting because of traffic."
He'd say, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
And this guy was so very, very confident all of the time that whatever was happening was an essential part of God's good will for your life, no matter how terrible it felt, and regardless of whether you felt God's presence in it or not.
I envied his optimism and clarity.
Much of my Christian walk has been marked by my struggles to follow Jesus--especially when I couldn't see where he was going. The verses that tended to come to my mind during those moments of struggle were the ones that seemingly indicted my lack of faith.
Far too often I have become like Jesus' disciples when they realized Jesus was leading them somewhere they didn't really want to go.
In Mark's Gospel we find this verse: They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid.
Oswald Chambers once wrote that when life is simple, it's easier to follow Jesus, and to easily fall back on times past when we experienced his redeeming and restorative presence. But when things get challenging, when the way forward seems unclear that's when it gets sticky.
"...now we are not quite so sure," Chambers wrote. "Jesus is far ahead of us and is beginning to seem different and unfamiliar."
Today on this Third Wednesday of Lent is the perfect time to exercise your faith in Jesus--no matter how far ahead he might seem to be. Hear the words of the great Charles Spurgeon who exhorted his congregation by saying:
"Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him."
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.