Sunday, June 15, 2014


When we take the time to observe God’s creation, we can find many valuable lessons about following Christ. A doe’s sure-footedness, for example, shows us how to walk our Christian life with steady steps. The new leaves of spring give us a glimpse of the spiritual growth we need. Rain is a reminder of God’s steady, life-giving blessings. Yes, and the red squirrels’ habits bring conviction of our failure to rest in the Lord.


Comings and Goings

I enjoy watching the endless comings and goings of red squirrels. They hurry and scurry from one tree to another. They run across our decks, perch on our railings, and steal food from the birds. Their continual search for food makes their comings and goings valuable.

My own comings and goings often seem to have little value. Some days it seems all I do is come here and go there, with little reward.

Jesus experienced a special coming to earth and a special going to the cross. His life had infinite value, and so should the lives of us who follow in His footsteps.

Jesus invites us all to come to Him—for healing, deliverance, and salvation. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

We all want rest for our body, soul, and spirit. God’s Word and Spirit will draw us to Him for the rest we crave from our frantic, and often valueless, comings and goings.

Coming to Christ should not be the end of our spiritual story, however. We are told to follow Him by “going” out as His representative. What does that require? It requires humility rather than pride and it requires selfless love. It probably does not mean giving up our physical lives for His sake, as martyrs have done—and still do. Jesus means, however, that we should be willing to do so if we’re faced with such a choice.

Jesus clarifies this in His words recorded in Matthew 16:24-26. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

This is not a touchy-feely, God-is-love type of message, the kind we like to hear. God’s Word includes many such hard lessons and commands. Hard or soft, they’re equally important.

Lord, forgive us for following the squirrels’ habit of frantically coming and going to satisfy our own desires. As we come to You, give us the will and desire to go for You as well, no matter the cost. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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