Friday, November 11, 2011

Change: A Call to Follow?

I've been reading Mark 1: 16-20.

Whenever I read this account in Mark, my heart beats a little faster. I stand on tiptoe, hoping to be ready to spring into action when I hear the call of my Savior asking me to follow Him. I’d like to think that if Jesus walked up to my fishing boat, I’d respond “without delay” and follow Him.

But in daily life, I tumble into situations or am confronted by challenges that invade unexpectedly and these situations and challenges don’t feel at all like God’s call to follow Him. They feel like accidents.

In The Restorer, Susan was listening for God’s call in her life. She wanted guidance in her choices about which committee to join at her children’s school, or where to volunteer at church. She would have loved a few insights into how to grow in patience when the needs of her household left her frazzled and exhausted.

Instead, change invaded. Dramatic, inexplicable, confusing change. It didn’t feel like God’s call to follow. For her it felt like being tossed into a place where she was lost to Him.

What changes have recently intruded into your life – whether changes that came unasked for, or changes you initiated?

When I wrote about Susan being pulled through a portal into a new place, I thought about women I know who faced sudden change. A child with a learning disability. A friend diagnosed with cancer. A parent who develops Alzheimer’s. At some point in all our lives, we are pulled into a new world where we don’t know the rules, and we just want to go back to the familiar.

Sometimes my response to change is to use all my energy trying to get things back to normal. Or I scream for others to fix the problem. Or I curl up in despair. Or I grit my teeth and plow ahead. But when I read this account in the Gospel of Mark, I hear Jesus' gentle call, and I ask Him to show me how to follow Him in this new place.

We aren’t here by accident. Even in this new place, we can trust Him to guide us.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, sometimes I don’t have much choice about the changes that hit my life. But I do have choices about how I’ll respond. I’ll admit that there are challenges in my life I’d like to run away from, problems I want to barrel through in my own strength, situations I’d love to berate others for. Instead, please give me the courage to take up my cross and follow You. Amen.

(Adapted from the devotion guide in the back of The Restorer-Expanded Edition, 2011)


Sharon Hinck

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