Follow You.

“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him.”

— Hudson Taylor

This song came to mind (seemingly out of nowhere) last week as I was sitting at my desk.

Lately it seems I’m living out the struggle to remember Ethiopia.  It’s something I need to fight to hold onto, to actively pursue.  My flesh wants comfort.  My flesh would rather forget.  Why?  Because it’s easier.  But it’s not the better way.  The easy way is rarely the better way.  Jesus told us that.

The chorus of this song brings me back to Mother Teresa’s in Addis Ababa.  It brings me back to a place so overwhelming, so heart-wrenching, so consuming… There’s a lump in my throat just thinking about it.  The chorus brings me back to that place and back to those challenging moments.  Every selfish part of me wanted to bolt as quickly as I could.   Rooms and walkways were full of sick and dying people.  And children.

If I’m being honest, emotionally speaking, I did bolt.  I checked out.   I was afraid.  As I wrote in an earlier blog post (“Journal Excerpts“), I knew that those were the people Jesus surrounded Himself with, and yet I felt like I could barely look at them.  Yes, physically I stayed, but emotionally?  I couldn’t have run faster.

I’m certain that I will encounter moments like that again and be given the opportunity to stay and engage.  First of all, because God is gracious, and I’m so thankful for that.  Second of all, because this is life.  It will inevitably get difficult and be painful at times.

Will I follow Jesus into those hard places?  Will I give myself to Him fully, knowing that it will not always be neat and easy?  Will I roll up my sleeves, trust in His all-sufficient grace, and step into the mess that is life?

I’m more aware than ever that apart from His grace, I’m absolutely incapable.  I just can’t do it.  But He can.  I want to follow Him there.  And by His grace, I will.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Matthew 16:24-25

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