But Why Her God? The Challenge of Following Jesus When It Feels Like We’re Missing Out

by | May 5, 2023

One of the most captivating scenes in the gospel of John is at the closing in Chapter 21. It’s after the resurrection, and Jesus is spending time with his disciples, eating breakfast. How surreal that must have felt! They were dining with their Savior they thought was gone just a few days prior. 

 

As they finished their meal, Jesus reveals to Peter that he will die for the sake of his Christ.

Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but 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.” 

John 21:18

After sharing this news, he issues the command: Follow me.” Just reading those words takes my breath away. That couldn’t have been easy to hear.

 

Shortly after processing this, Peter turns to Jesus and asks what would happen to John, the beloved disciple. But Lord, what about this man? (vs. 21). Jesus is quick to respond. If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 

 

I can relate to this scene more than I wish to admit. 

 

But God, why is it so easy for her to get pregnant? 

But God, why does she not have to worry about money?

But God, why does she have the beautiful house?

But God, why is her life so easy?! 

 

When I have asked these questions, through prayer, struggle and many tears, God points me to the same answer. What is that to you? You follow me!

 

The simplest command, the greatest challenge, yet the highest privilege in the Christian life. To follow Christ, and His plan for our life. Not another’s. There are no promises that the path will be simple, involve worldly success or fame. For Peter, it meant dying at the stake. Instead, we are promised unshakeable Joy DESPITE our circumstances, and an eternal relationship with the God of the universe.

 

But how do we follow Christ when it feels like our path isn’t the one we would have chosen?

 

1. Look up, not out

Going back to Peter, the Rock. God revealed clearly that he would suffer for his faith, but he didn’t waiver. Through Peter, God helped reveal his plan to bring the gentiles into his Kingdom. He preached at Pentecost, one of the most important moments in the New Testament (Acts 2). Although imperfect, he gives us the example of looking to Christ for guidance of our life.

 

When it comes to understanding God’s path for our life our tendency is often to look to how God is directing others. To compare their plan to ours and wonder why our timeline, or assignment is different. Instead, we need to look to him. Through prayer, through wise counsel, and through his Word, He will point us to the path He has chosen for us. And we know that His way is always best.

 

2. Cling to His promises: 

On the other side of the command to follow Jesus are the precious promises He gives to his people:

 

He will always meet your needs.

He will be with you.

He is working all things together for your good.

He is never late, he is always on time.

He will reward your good deeds in Heaven.

 

Following Jesus is a daily journey. It’s also a moment-by-moment process of asking Him for the next steps and clinging to the promises through his Word. No matter what your assignment God has given you right now, we need to turn to his promises at our weakest moments. They are living water for our soul. 

 

3. Remember his faithfulness: 

When we are in a season of waiting, or want, or discomfort, we have a hope that the world doesn’t have. When we remember God’s faithfulness throughout history, and in our own lives, we can be certain that He will be faithful again.

 

I would think that as Peter launched his ministry in the early church amid strong persecution, he recalled the many conversations he had with Jesus. Remembering how he prophesized his death, and then resurrection. And, that they would see him again in paradise. Everything he had said would happen, did. 

 

So, in our prayers of pleading with God for a different path. When we ask, why her? Let us cling to our Savior, to follow Him. Knowing that His plan and His timing is more perfect and wonderful than we will ever know.

If you want to know more about how God uses hard times in our lives, listen to this Spotify podcast below:

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