Understanding What Really Matters
By Lee Wise
I have had a phrase running through my head for a few weeks now. The phrase is "the other side of easy."
There's a reason for my reflecting on that phrase. It's because part of life is not easy right now, and it is much, much worse for some very dear friends of ours.
A corollary thought has been: "It's all about Jesus."
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT HARD TIMES
I have noticed something over the years. Hard times often draw people back to what really matters in life. Very quickly...
Petty issues don't take the driver's seat in the so called "daily grind."
The mind turns to family, friends and other *truly important* people-related issues.
The heart often turns to spiritual matters. Prayers become important and thoughts about "God" occupy the heart in places where a "No God Allowed" sign may have been placed there in previous days.
These things can be true for everyone. I say "can" be true because the they are obviously not true for *all* people.
None-the-less, I believe I can safely say one or all of the statements I made above describe a lot of us when we find ourselves "on the other side of easy street."
I personally identify -- except for the third point. For me, as well as for many Christ-followers I'm sure -- something much deeper happens.
Our hearts return to the Friend we have come to know and rely upon for so many years: Jesus.
And what happens is that we are prompted to...
REFLECT ON "THE BASICS"
And what are "the basics"?
The "basics" are quite simple: knowing, loving and following Jesus -- to the end.
You see, when it's all said and done... it's all about Jesus.
The car will not be new... someday.
The position will be taken over by another...someday.
The class will be taught by someone else...someday.
The money won't matter to me...someday.
BUT NOT SO WITH JESUS
No, not so with Jesus.
When it's all said and done with Jesus...
He will be there with us in a place we fondly refer to as "home."
He will reward us for loving and following him.
He will keep us for all eternity where no pain, agony, tears or heartaches will be allowed. They won't be allowed on Jesus' final turf.
That's what I call pretty basic.
Extremely important. In fact, there is nothing more important than knowing, loving and following Jesus.
I'M REMINDED OF PETER
One of the most fascinating passages of Scripture to me is when Jesus says to Peter in so many words: "Peter, It's okay.
You are back in the game. I know and accept your level of love for me where it's at, and I want you to make sure my people get fed. And something else: the fourth time around you won't deny me. You will stand strong to the end. You won't deny me. But I'm telling you it won't be an easy trip. You will personally experience some of the agony I did."
Now picture this. Jesus is having this very, very intimate discussion with Peter. The Savior-Friend and his disciple are walking side by side enjoying each other's company.
Then Peter discovers that someone is following them. One of the other men. Another friend of Jesus.
Peter turns around, looks at the man, faces Jesus and asks: "Lord, what about him?"
Peter wanted to know about his friend. What's going to happen to him?
Now "listen" closely to the words of Jesus. Listen real, real close:
"If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." (John 21:22)**
"YOU MUST FOLLOW ME"
Jesus turned the heart of Peter to the heart of the matter:
He didn't answer Peter's question. Did you catch that?
It was valid -- especially in view of the circumstances.
It was normal -- who wouldn't want to know about a friend?
Once again: Jesus turned the heart of Peter to the heart of the matter.
AND THAT IS WHERE OUR HEARTS NEED TO BE
When life is on the other side of easy.
When life is more on the happy side :)
And in all the in between times.
Because it's all about Jesus!
Yours for a day filled with hope in Jesus,
**All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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