Thursday, September 20, 2012
Counting the Cost
Our filly, Wonder will soon be 5 months old. In order to wean her, I moved her out of the barnyard which she shared with her momma, Nettie and “step-papa”, Ponyo. As I closed the gate behind us, Nettie and Ponyo became very agitated and began to whinny. Regardless, Wonder responded to my command to walk away. In order to get to the other barn, Wonder and I walked about a third of a mile. She occasionally hesitated a bit and whinnied, but never resisted my leading. If I were in her shoes, I’d have been thinking:
I really like this place; why do I have to leave it?
Where are you taking me?
Why do I have to leave my loved ones behind?
What will this new place be like?
Will I have what I need?
What will I do there?
Will there be anyone whom I know?
Will I be all alone?
As Wonder and I made our way through the field, I was amazed that she was so responsive to my commands and receptive of my reassurance. Considering Wonder’s astonishing trust, I began to ponder the cost of following Jesus and questioned if I have nearly the faith in my Master that Wonder seems to have in me.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57-62).
The cost of following Jesus is always “pricey”.
Walking away from what feels safe and familiar is never easy.
Leaving behind those whom you love is often gut wrenching.
Stepping into an unfamiliar world can feel like one of the most risky things that we’re ever called to do.
Yet, we are commanded, Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus is a challenge, especially when we are experiencing major transitions in life. As we make the necessary adjustments, it seems that we are more prone to getting distracted and off on the wrong path. Proverbs 4:25-27 warns,
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
As uncertain as Wonder must have been, I marveled at the fact that she never looked back, balked nor attempted to dart off in a different direction. It was as if she knew that my intentions were not to jeopardize her, but were for her wellbeing. Just as my familiar voice and gentle words reassured Wonder, as I go through the necessary physical and emotional changes which commonly accompany a major life change, I must keep in mind that my heavenly Father has a panoramic view of my future that I don’t have:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
In our humanness there are always “what ifs”:
What if I’ve taken the wrong turn?
What if I move to fast or too slow?
What if I miss what God has in mind for me?
We can be assured, however, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: http://whole-heartedlife.blogspot.com/. You may also contact me at:
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845