Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008 ~ Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 4: 12-23

Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Caper'na-um by the sea, in the territory of Zeb'ulun and Naph'tali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zeb'ulun and the land of Naph'tali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles -- the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zeb'edee and John his brother, in the boat with Zeb'edee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.


Wow! These guys dropped everything and left. Can you imagine if the Lord came to you tomorrow and said, "I need you to come with me, now. Drop everything. Let's go!" Part of me would be so excited and overwhelmed to see Jesus that I might collapse in joy and fear. Part of me would be terrified, because I am definitely not ready for my judgment. And, part of me would hesitate: but what about the kids? the laundry? the dinner on the stove? That's called doubt, and I've got plenty of it.

My current naptime reading (this is what I read with one hand while I rub my 2 1/2 year old's back with the other hand until he falls asleep, so he will actually take a nap most days) is called You're Late Again, Lord! The book itself is short and sweet, but not profound - while you're waiting for whatever it is you want or think you need, be sure to wait with purpose. Look for the lesson in the moment, the opportunity to improve yourself now, because God gave you this time of waiting for a reason.

Another book I read before marriage, called Lady in Waiting, gives almost identical advice to women waiting for a husband. Prepare yourself. Take the time you have to grow closer to God, so He can make you ready for the man He wants you to marry. I highly recommend this book for single women hoping for or discerning marriage.

How good am I at waiting? How good am I at responding to God's call when it does happen? Do I have doubts that keep me from surrendering to God's will? Do I believe that He is not trying to punish me by making me wait, just refine me? Do I resent that I need to be refined in order to reach what I think I need? What is God calling me to do today in my life? Am I dropping everything to obey? Do I embrace the current purpose God has for me, regardless of whether I think it is useful or best? Do I ask God too many "why" questions?

I am definitely struggling to let go of everything I think I need, my nets and boats, and walk down the path Christ is leading me. He knows what is best, not me. That's right. He knows what is best, NOT me. And, even though I can't see one step in front of me, I will continue to pray for the courage to keep following Him, one step at a time.