When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?‘ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return what is that to you? You must follow Me.‘ John 21:21-22 NIV
The phone rang and a young friend shared her exciting news: “I’m going to have a baby!” Her words came as a bit of a surprise so I quickly asked, “When are you due?” She responded, “April 9th” and went on to share how she’d been feeling.
After we hung up, tears fell from my eyes and questions filled my mind. My due date was supposed to be April 19th, but a miscarriage turned a day I’d looked forward to into one I began to dread. Why was she getting a baby and we were grieving a child we never really knew? It really wasn’t fair! I felt like a little kid as I told God, “She’s getting what I wanted!!”
I wrestled with this longer than I want to admit, but I began to experience peace when I reread a story from John 21.
Jesus has just told Peter how he (Peter) will die. A death no one would choose, a death that will be hard and a death Peter did not want. This situation may have left Peter thinking, “That’s not fair.”
Peter didn’t voice those words, but his actions mirrored mine. He shifted the focus from himself to somebody else and asked about John.
Friend, let’s not miss Jesus’ response. He says, “What is that to you? You must follow Me.” I believe every time we echo Peter’s words, Jesus says the same to us.
I read this and thought about the situation with my young friend. In my heart I knew then it didn’t matter that she was getting a baby and I wasn’t…what mattered was that I followed Jesus.
The painful situation I was experiencing really wasn’t “fair“, but that didn’t change who God was - a loving, faithful Father with ways that are higher than mine and a plan that I don’t often understand.
Friend, sometimes following Him is hard, leads to places we don’t understand and leaves us thinking “It’s not fair!” But that doesn’t change God’s promises - regardless of my circumstances, God is with me and working all things together for my good and His glory.
Is something happening in your life that seems unfair? Go to God in prayer and share your thoughts, disappointments and hurts with Him. Ask Him to help you follow Him, to have a desire to go where He leads and accept what He offers even when it seems unfair, especially then.
Heavenly Father, sometimes life can seem unfair… whether it’s a baby, a spouse, a new job or a list of countless other things. We can want what others get. Lord, help me keep my eyes on You and remember that You are the Giver of all good things. I praise You for the blessings I’ve been given and ask You to give me a heart to rejoice in the blessings others receive as well. Don’t let me forget that You have a purpose for all You give to me and keep from me as well. Father, I ask You to help me be like Peter and follow You, in the easy and the hard, during the good and the bad, when it seems fair and even when it doesn’t. In Jesus’ Powerful Name, Amen.
A great song to encourage you as you follow HIM - Chris Tomlin “I Will Follow”