Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” John 13:37 (NIV)
The churches are full of satisfied Christians. There are so many who are happy about what they have found already. Many of us have found our contentment in our refined lives, our support group and our hope for a future. But does that mean that we have it all down? Does this mean that we have Heaven won? Is there no more need for concern? Is there no more need for urgency or strain?
There are a few though who refuse to be satisfied with what we already have. There are some who will not rest just yet. There are some believers who cannot stand any more distance between them and their Lord. These are the ones who press forward in their faith. These are the ones who can´t pull themselves up off of their knees. These are the ones who hear that still small whisper of the Spirit. But to them it is booming in their ears! The call of Jesus is shaking their souls! It moves them! It will not let them be content. They need to know if their professed belief in Christ is real. They need to hear it from no One less than Jesus Himself! They need to be so close to Him that He can show them if their efforts have gotten them somewhere. It cuts them and pains them deeply to think that He would ever be separated from them or hidden from them in any way, no matter how short or small.
This kind of Christian reads these words and they go running to Him in prayer. They ask the Lord to show them what is in their heart. They want the Light of God to scrutinize their soul until all the darkness is chased away. They are the ones who look to find love inside of them. They are the ones who are actually trying to follow Him. It is not those who dutifully file into their church at the designated time. It is not the ones who profess loudly their accordance with the teachings of the Bible, yet are in a hurry to rush out again and get back to the things they really enjoy doing. They are the ones who come to Church to be near Him. They join in the singing not merely because it lifts their spirits, but because that precious moment of praise is a special moment shared with Someone they know and love. They come to church not because they feel they should, but because the love of God is flowing through them and the pressure mounts until it must overflow to others who feel the same.
Jesus tells the Disciples that He has only a short time to be with them before He goes back to the Father. He says that they cannot follow Him there now, but will have to wait. Peter cannot stand to hear this. He asks Jesus why he cannot go with Him. He says he would even give his life not to be separated from his Lord. Although human and susceptible to limitations and failures, do we think his heart was in the right place? Peter could not possibly imagine all that Christ was accomplishing at that time. The entire future of mankind lay in the balance. Jesus was paying for our Way back into the Presence of God. The true follower sees that our Saviour is at work, but is stricken to the core to think of any excruciating distance between us and our Lord Jesus Christ! Could we be like him?
It hurts us deeply to think that there are moments we should have to suffer without Your Presence felt. Our souls cry out in protest that anything should separate us from You. Say it will not be so. Remind us of Your love. Whisper to us often of God´s sure plan to reunite us all soon. Let us shout out with Peter that our lives mean nothing to us if we can´t have You near! Forever hold us close we pray!