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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Comparison: what is that to you?

When Peter turned and 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.”

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she…

The last two stories in the gospel of John rarely do not touch me emotionally. I feel I can so relate to Mary’s broken heart and Peter’s pain. Her broken heart led her to be at the very place Jesus would meet her, so giving her the privilege of being the first preacher of the gospel. Peter’s pain led him to confusion, “If I am going to be crucified, what about him?”

I have been in the wilderness for seven years. It has been seven years since God asked me if I would leave my career for love. It has been over four years that I have learned to trust Him in the world of freelance. It has been seven years of painful circumstances with only an occasional tiny oasis. For much of this time I have experienced confusion as to why I need to be crucified in this way. Only this week I realized that half of my wilderness journey is captured in some way here on this blog. Oh the pain of learning to get my water from the Rock and my daily bread from Heaven!

God, why me? Why is my story told in this way? Why does it look so different from others? Why am I compelled to share my story with the world? Why not hide my pain and pretend this journey is easy or at least that I am less broken? Why do so many others have what would seem to make my life so much better and easier? Why not me?

It was only yesterday that I considered how different my idea of good circumstances is now than it was seven years ago. Seven years ago I thought people who had friends were fools. I thought people who wasted their time investing in relationships were idiots. Now my idea of good circumstances is entirely defined by whether there is peace in the key relationships in my life. Now my deserts are defined by the status of reconciliation, confession and repentance in my life and the lives of those closest to me. So much has changed.

Seven years ago the few relationships I had were extremely codependent. I brought my needs to human beings. These days I nearly never bring needs first to human beings but instead first to God. Christ has become my Rock. The desert of the temporal is teaching me that my needs are actually spiritual. Water from the Rock. Bread of heaven.

With some odd sort of genuine fondness, this week I considered that perhaps I should start nicknaming my deserts. The Sahara, Gobi… I am quite sure one season definitely qualified as Death Valley. Water from the Rock. Bread of heaven.

Life would be so much better if I could quit looking around and asking, “But God, why me and not them?”

He keeps responding, “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

Yesterday I woke up with the verse from 1 Corinthians rolling around in my brain, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” Again and again it rolled through my head as I waited for my alarm to ring twenty minutes later. It was so comforting, yet it hardly made me feel good. If only love was a fluffy feeling, it would. But Jesus’ idea of love doesn’t always have my emotions jumping up and down – at least not with joy. Occasionally in a temper tantrum. Sometimes following the way of love has tears falling down my cheeks in terrible pain.

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb…

Maybe I am simply being positioned to see a resurrection. Jesus seems to keep saying that unless something dies, it cannot truly live. Whoever loses their life will find it. Whoever saves their life will lose it. Maybe I am being positioned to see a resurrection.

I know that when push comes to shove, the only thing that matters in my life is that I am doing exactly what I know He wants me to be doing. If His next assignment for me is another desert, perhaps the driest and hottest one to date, then in that desert is the only place I will have true peace. The peace that will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. He will prove faithful.

Water from the Rock. Bread of heaven.

Do you ever find yourself asking God why His assignment for you isn’t as fun as you would like it to be? Do you struggle with comparison? Are you like Mary, whose broken heart led her to seek Jesus (if only to be nearer what she thought was His dead body)? Praise God He is alive!

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