Numbers 32:1-33:39; Luke 4:31-5:11; Psalm 64:1-10; Proverbs 11:22
Today is one of my daughters’ birthday. Last night we had a party for her and we decorated with pictures of her at various stages of her life up to this point. We celebrated her life and all that God has done in it. We had visual and verbal reminders of God’s goodness to us in her life. The Israelites do much the same, recounting God’s goodness and provision to them. Many times throughout Scripture they remember God’s faithfulness in the past through stories and the retelling of their history. Today we see them creating a sort of map of all their travels thus far. Starting in Egypt, they make a recording of every stop they made, until they come to where they are now. I fully believe this act of recounting and remembering is key to our spiritual health today. It gives us perspective. It cultivates a heart of gratitude. It reminds us that God has acted on our behalf, that he will continue to act on our behalf.
When I read through the New Testament reading for today, I am struck by how prevalent and powerful the healing acts of Jesus are. What would it have been like to witness those amazing healings? What would my response have been? And what about Peter and James and John? Their response to Jesus’ miracle of the huge catch of fish was that they “pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed” (Lk. 5:11). I love the definitiveness of their actions. They knew they had met someone amazing, someone with authority, someone with power to change their lives. So they docked their boats, walked away from their entire livelihoods, and followed Jesus. Often times when I read this, I feel some small twinges of guilt. Have I pulled my boat up? Have I left everything? Do I follow him? I mean, I have young children, I can’t leave them. I have a mortgage, a husband, a steady job. Do I love these more than Jesus? Where are you asking me to follow you, Lord? How does that look in my life?
When we ask those questions, I believe the Lord is so faithful to show us where we need to pull our boats up. He shows us just what it looks like for each of us to leave everything and follow him. It’s different for each of us just as it was different for people back in Jesus’ day. Jesus didn’t tell Simon’s mother-in-law to leave her house and family to follow him. She simply served him where she was. We don’t know what the man in Luke 4:35 did after the demon was cast out of him, but we do know that the “news about [Jesus] spread throughout the surrounding area” (Lk. 4:37). Maybe he went around recounting the amazing and miraculous work of God in his life right there in his hometown and in surrounding villages.
Lord, I do want to follow you, with all my heart. Show me what that means, how that looks. Help me to daily recount your past and present faithfulness in my life. As I do that, I know that I also help to spread to good news about you to those around me.
- Mary Matthias
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