Ahead of Even Me

Deeply hurt.

Abandoned.

Mislead.

I’m not going to lie – I was angry at God. And when I wasn’t, I was ashamed of myself and thought, “I don’t deserve anything from God but exactly what I’m experiencing.”

Just thought I would get that off my chest.

For any of you who have followed our story over the past couple of years, you know that we named our blog “Dropnets” after the accounts of Jesus calling his first disciples to follow him and they “immediately dropped their nets” (they were fishermen) “and followed him.” I won’t go into all of that part of our story (you can read about it in our first postings back in January and February of 2015).

I haven’t written anything for our blog in eleven months. Honestly, I haven’t written much of anything at all for almost a year, except a couple of tirades to Jesus about trying to follow him and how I didn’t like where it had led.

Honestly, I haven’t written much of anything at all for almost a year,
except a couple of tirades to Jesus about trying to follow him
and how I didn’t like where it had led. 

There’s about 100 or more blog posts to write about the days that led up to my darkest week, which happened to coincide with Hurricane Harvey – a storm that just wouldn’t leave until it buried much of the city I call home during a month when we didn’t have a home of our own…again. Where was Jesus? Why did he start a fire in our hearts to follow him like crazy people only to abandon us right when he was on the cusp of helping us start Breathe Life (a retreat of rest, healing and play for ministry leaders and their spouses)? Why would he bring us this far to not only not start this dream he gave us, but to leave our family in the precarious position he did?

Why would he bring us this far to not only not start this dream he gave us,
but to leave our family in the precarious position he did?

Then, God started breaking into my darkness through longtime friends, complete strangers, and everyone in between over the past couple of weeks. I was skittish, to say the least. But I was starting to want to hope again. I was starting to want to believe in the goodness of God toward me again. So, Sunday we gathered as a family to share our exhaustion, our fears, our questions, our hopes – the reality of ourselves with each other.  It was real, if nothing else. And then, after months of feeling like God had been silent to any plea of mine, he gave me these verses:

Then Jesus told them,
“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

~ Matthew 26:31-32

At what I would consider the height of my following – my daily trust in Jesus – I was completely scattered by the enemy. I was knocked right on my keister. But I think Jesus wasn’t as surprised by this as I was. And more than that, he’s gone ahead of me for my sake. And that’s saying something, because I’ve been running about ten steps ahead of Jesus (or so I’ve been told by my counselor)!

I guess what I’m saying is this:  Jesus did it again. He is faithful, even when I am not. And what I’m learning today is even before I get to ‘Galilee,’ he’s already there; and, he’s there with no shame. None. Instead, he invites me again to follow and participate in the hope of his resurrection, his coming kingdom, and even in the specific dreams he has placed on my heart.

What I’m learning today is
even before I get to ‘Galilee,’ he’s already there;
and, he’s there with no shame. None.

I’m still scared every few days about my immediate future. I feel like the disciples when Matthew writes later at the end of his Gospel:

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him;
but some doubted.

~ Matthew 28:16-17

Jesus, where else can I go? You alone have the words of everlasting life! I believe you, Jesus. Help my unbelief.

author | Steve

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