i'm a reader. i admit i've gone through seasons of my life where i sort of abandoned it.... or more accurately just let it slide down the priority list a ways. but it's always there. that desire, that need to read. and i'll read anything... magazines. (i'm not an only-interested-in-the-pictures person. although i do LOVE the pictures) articles. newspapers. blogs. books. words heal and help and inspire and convict and move...
the upside to the technologically advanced world we live in today is that we have incredibly easy access to all of the things to read. the downside is that easy access means i'm easily distracted. i can get myself into a whole lot of trouble with the misuse of my time when i take detour after detour, down, down the rabbit hole of the web.
again, the upside of getting lost in the internet maze is that there are beautiful things to be found. i've come across authors and articles that have been just what i needed in a particular moment. the downside... in addition to the obvious mis-management of my time... is the tendency my mind has to begin to wander to places of insecurity and discouragement.
i can easily wind up feeling inadequate as i look at all of the beautiful pictures and see what (it seems) like everyone else is doing and thinking. i find myself caught up in comparing my thoughts to theirs. my style to theirs. my accomplishments to theirs. and i imagine, like Alice, this confusing wonder at how on earth i wound up here. this is not right.
i recently read through the book of John. again. (this time it was along with
, a community of women determined to live lives anchored in the Word) i've read through the Bible in a year. i've read through the Bible in 90 days. i've attempted various reading plans over the years... some successfully and some, well, not so. this reading of John was just what i needed.
there is immeasurable depth and truth, what with Jesus actual Words being spoken. (understatement) and it's impossible to relay the extent of all that the Holy Spirit spoke to every part of me. but there is one thing that i came away with that i absolutely want to mediate on for this month... words i felt were spoken directly to me.
in chapter 21, Jesus has a conversation with Peter that holds immense meaning. it vaguely refers to Peter's past (denying Jesus 3 times), and tells something of Peter's future (when you are old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go). it's weighty and confrontational and beautiful. and Peter's response is:
"what about him?" referring to John.
Peter and John had a thing. a competitive friendship it seems to me. they raced to the tomb. John mentions his beating Peter there THREE TIMES!! i can only assume that as regular humans, a sense of comparison or competition existed among the disciples at least occasionally. clearly, because now here is Peter saying.... "ok, ok. you have a plan for ME, Jesus. great! but, um, what about him?" sneaking a peek behind them at John.
and Jesus responds: "if i want him to remain alive until i return... what is that to you? YOU must follow me."
point being, Jesus words to Peter are the same to YOU and to ME.
"do you love me? follow me."
"this isn't about him. this is about you"
stop with all the 'yeah, but she...' and 'why does he....' and 'when do i...'
enough. follow me from here, now, with what i've already given. quit worrying about all the other stuff that has nothing to do with you.
do we believe God's Word or not?
do we believe He has a plan that has our best interest and His perfect purpose in mind? or not?
"...Lord, what about him? Jesus answered if i want him to remain alive until i return, what is that to you? YOU must follow me."
i pray that as we, as a global community of believers, set our hearts and our minds on things above and hide the Word of truth in our hearts, that we would be willing, available, moldable vessels God can fill and use.
in His name
by his strength
for His glory
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