No.200. Thanksgiving that helps us to follow!

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No.200. Thanksgiving that helps us to follow!

There is much talk today about ‘followers’, and about how many ‘followers’ people have, and of course we are talking here about ‘followers’ on the internet, on Twitter or Instagram. People put up their posts and those who are interested in what they have to say will get a notification and will be able to read the latest thoughts or exploits of the one whom they are ‘following’. They may of course end up copying this person, or believing something that they have written, but they may never meet the person and will be able to pick and choose from the comfort of their own home, what they want to take notice of, or copy.

When Jesus said ‘Come follow me’, Mark 1:16 and Mark 2:14, He was not talking about “have a listen and see if you like my ideas”, He was calling those people to leave everything and to go with Him and see and be a part of everything He was going to be doing, to be His disciples. This was something intensely personal and commanding. It was an all in, or all out, experience for them and they definitely wanted to be ‘all in’.

I love that Jesus said, ‘Follow Me’. How different from the slave driver who drives from behind with a whip or a stick. When Jesus calls us to follow Him He has always gone ahead and draws us from the front. We follow but He leads, He shows us the way, staying close. When Jesus says ‘Follow Me’ His intention is that we would have a close and ongoing relationship.

Another beautiful thing about ‘following Jesus’ is that Jesus leads us but He doesn’t call us to follow Him, as it were, through a jungle or a swamp. He doesn’t forge ahead leaving us fighting through undergrowth, struggling to keep up, and afraid that we are about to lose sight of Him, or drop out because we are so far behind but He didn’t notice. His leading is more like a dance partner who says “follow my lead”, and I will guide you through the steps, and I will set the direction and speed. The lovely thing about this kind of leading and following, is that it means that He wants to keeps very close contact with us, so that we can hear His whispers as He guides us across the dance floor of life.

Finally we need to know that Jesus doesn’t lead us at a pace we cannot sustain. Nor does He lead us like a mountain Sherpa who has forgotten to make sure we are equipped with the right gear. He is ‘the Lord my Shepherd’ and I know that He will make sure that I lack nothing for the journey we are on. He will lead me by still waters when I need them, and into green pastures when my soul needs restoring. He will also lead me in the right paths. I can trust His leading and I can follow without fear of going the wrong way. Psalm 23:1-3.

Sometimes however we can feel like we’ve got disconnected from our Heavenly Leader. We can find it hard to follow because we are not entirely sure which way He has gone. We know He is ahead somewhere but we’ve got distracted along the way and are not entirely sure which way to go. This could be from one extreme to another. We can feel lost, for example, over a major decision in life, or lost just in the course of a day, so what do we do then?

I believe thanksgiving is the biggest connector ever. Just thanking Jesus that He is there for me, just ahead, brings Him back into view. Thanking Him that He is equipping me for this part of the journey releases my faith to expect, and receive, the grace that I am needing to follow Him. And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, thanking Him that ‘His goodness and Love will follow me all the days of my life’, (verse 6), and that includes today, will draw me back into His arms of love, back into the dance and allow me to ‘follow Him’ with joy in my heart again.


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