Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was 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.…
Looking back there was a moment that I distinctly remember “dropping my net” to follow him. My reaction was almost impulsive. Although he had been pursing me for a lifetime, I had been blind to it, but suddenly I was seeing his mark everywhere. Before I knew what was happening, almost like I was being carried along, he was leading me out of darkness into light. I found myself doing things I never thought I could do. I was leaving dreams behind that I had hung on to for dear life for years as if they were the things that were going to save me when in reality they were drowning me. My flesh initially put up a good fight, begging me to come back, but I was overcome by Love and an even greater desire to really know who he was that had been after my heart for so long.
And the more I learned about Jesus, the deeper my affections became for him. I needed him. He did not need me. Yet, he came for me. I could’t get him out of my mind. He was all that I thought about. I couldn’t wait to get off work so that I could be with him. Lunch break meant an hour that we got to spend together in the middle of the day. Sleep was a burden and staying up reading about Jesus or talking about Jesus was all that I wanted to do.
Then marriage and motherhood happened and I felt overwhelmed and busy. I didn’t have that time with Jesus like I used to. Everything was different. It was no longer Just me and Jesus sitting on my bed for hours as I poured over his words with the Spirit illuminating the scriptures.
There were distractions now. Many kinds of distractions, not just the obvious ones. Sure, there was another human being around but what was really hard was we didn’t study The Word the same way. He listened to sermons while I tried to read silently. He is structured, a sit at the table with your bible and concordance kind of guy, while I’m a lay in the bed with a mound of sheets eating a cookie while reading kind of gal. It just seemed complicated and in our newly married-ness we ignorantly placed our relationship with God on the back burner.
And then our sweetness came, baby Fisher. With our new bundle, came a lot of new things to learn, more distractions and more difficulties trying to find our new rhythm. I have to say though, The Lord has used Fisher to reveal my depravity and need for him more than I could have ever imagined as I see myself in her.
Just the other day I was calling to Fisher to follow me as I was moving around the house. I wanted her to be near me so I can make sure she was safe. I also wanted her to watch me and learn from me, but Fisher didn’t always follow. In fact, often times she didn’t. Sometimes she saw something much more interesting in another room or simply choose to ignore me.
Right there, as I called to her and watched her turn the other way, my disobedient heart was opened up before me.
I heard Jesus call to me that time to feed that homeless man and I said, “no, I’m too scared to roll down my window.” I heard Jesus tell me to repent to my husband and stop worshiping myself and I flat out said, “no, I do not feel like it.” I heard Jesus say, “this is your flesh, Erin. I died on the cross so that you would not be in bondage to it. Strive for holiness, strive for perfection as I am perfect” and I said, “no, because more than anything right now I want to be understood and acknowledged and I’m going to fight to get my point across.” I heard him whisper, “spend some time with me” and I responded, “I have no time.” Just like Fisher, I think I know what is best for me. I am easily distracted. I do not know the worth of what is being offered to me.
Thankfully, he is patient with me. So, so very patient. BUT I do not strive to know his patience but to know his voice. Jesus calls us, all of us, to follow him – initially and daily. How will you know when he is calling? You have to hear his voice. How will you know it’s His voice. By reading His word. I say, “no” to God more when I dull my sensitivities to His urgings by feasting on the empty offerings of this world, rather than consuming the richness of His Word.
(Jesus talks about people following him 23 times in the scriptures. Some people followed others sadly said, “no.”: Matthew 4:19, 8:22, 9:9, 10:38, 16:24, 19:21, 19:28; Mark 1:17, 2:14, 8:34, 10:21; Luke 5:27, 9:23, 9:59, 14:27, 18:22; John 1:43, 8:12, 10:27, 12:26, 13:36, 21:19, 21:22.)