22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” John 21:22, NLT.
Heart stirring in Ezra, I know that God is capable of changing situations and moving hearts of men.
Sometimes I find myself caught in opposition of scenarios of how I wish they would be and what they actually are. The dream sequence of holiday or relationships at large, where friends are friends forever, or a holiday table is filled with love, family and food. The sometimes other side of that is a sad reminder that sin thrives in strife– where criticism and unforgiveness can be served alongside the mashed potatoes, or the heavy grudge of another is a grimace in place of the grin of a once-upon-a-time friend.
These are things I think about. When the Lord put thanksgiving in my heart, I became the (very sincerely) happy host of Thanksgiving. But sometimes the stress of relational dynamics has me wanting to back down and wondering, what if we just order pizza and call it off? Or, am I going to cry when this is over?
Replaying highlight reel in my mind of the years, and whoa, the cast’s faces appear in queue for action. I wonder, how come (they) get to keep doing/saying/being like that?
A view from the water, and Jesus is at the beach calling out to his friends. As they are reunited, he prepares them breakfast and talks to Peter.
“Do you love me?” he asks Peter.
“Lord, you know I love you,” he replies in John 21.
(My heart softens.)
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Sin thrives in strife. If the world (or the guests at my table, or the people in the hallway) is to know we are his, they’ll see it in our love. Regardless of the doings and sayings of another, I am the Lord’s and he tells me, “Follow me.”
Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you as I run the course you marked out for me. Help me to follow you, love you, obey you, honor you, and trust you.