Sitting at Starbucks one morning, I was recapping some recent challenges I had been through to a mentor of mine. As I tried to wrap my mind around the situation and grasp for some reason and target for my frustration, my mentor said something that I didn’t want to admit.
Sometimes, we get into situations where the only person that you can point the finger at is Jesus. You want to blame anyone or anything other than Jesus. You don’t want to admit that you hate your circumstances and that He is to blame for putting you there. After all, He is sovereign over everything. I knew my mentor was right. I didn’t want to admit it, but if anyone was to blame, it was Jesus.
We won’t always like what Jesus has for us. In those moments, we can either turn our back or continue to walk with him.
This is the position in which the disciples found themselves in John 6. Jesus had just delivered “a hard saying” to the crowd. The text says the disciples grumbled at what they heard. Others took it a step further.
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” -John 6:66-69
The reaction of the disciples made it clear that they didn’t necessarily like what Jesus had to say. They were frustrated. Many outside of the twelve were bothered to the point that they just called it quits on walking with Jesus.
For the twelve, they knew there was nowhere else to turn. Despite the circumstances, they were sticking with Jesus, but why? Because He had proven that He was worth following. They recognized that He is who He says He is. They understood that He speaks truth and has authority.
We may not always like what Jesus has to say, we may not always like what Jesus does, but we have to know that He is right, good and true when those sentiments arise.
Through a recent challenging season I came to the same place as the disciples. It felt like I got hit by one blow after another to the point that I started to wonder where the next blow would come from. Throughout that season, I kept asking myself one question: “To whom shall I go?”
What good was it going to do me to get angry at God when I knew full well that He was the only thing that was going to get me through it? During the course of my 27 years I have learned that the band-aids the world tries to put on my wounds don’t heal. Jesus does. He sustains us. No matter how beat down I was, I knew, without hesitation, Jesus was the only one to turn to. It was encouraging to see that The Lord had moved to that place of steadfast faith and trust in the midst of difficult circumstances outside of my control.
For some, it’s not circumstances but words that bring them to this crossroads. The words of Christ aren’t exactly popular in our post-Christian America. Are we willing to stay fixated on Him and take Him at His word without manipulating, contorting or ignoring what He has to tell us?
Whether Jesus gives us hard circumstances in our lives or hard words from Scripture, we have to make a choice to continue to walk with Him or not. He has more than earned the benefit of the doubt. He has proven himself faithful, loving and true over and over and over again. There is nowhere else we can go.