February 17, 2009

Following Grace

Luke 9:57-62

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will … have the light of life.”
John 8:12


Following is tricky business.

When I need directions and someone simply hops in his car and says, “Just follow me, I’ve been there before,” I get uneasy. It’s not that I don’t trust him to get there. I don’t trust myself to follow closely enough. What if I get caught in traffic and lose sight of his car? What if a traffic light turns red after he goes through on the yellow light? And, of course, doing all that in the dark makes for a bigger adventure. So I usually say, “Give me a general idea of where we’re going, so in case we get separated …”

Our reading in Luke 9 tells us about three would-be followers. One volunteers to follow Jesus, but Jesus discourages him. Then Jesus turns to another and invites him to follow. But that person is hesitant. Still another volunteers to follow, but Jesus discourages him too. Hmmmm.

Following is tricky business. The problem is that I’m not sure exactly where Jesus is going. In fact, sometimes I don’t have the slightest idea where he’s going!

But I try to remind myself that following also involves trusting. And there’s no one I can trust more than Jesus—especially in the dark.

Following is all about trust. And trust is a gift of grace.

Lord of all grace, give us the grace today to turn the tricky business of following you into the trusting blessing of following you. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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