I have a confession to make. I don’t like being behind someone who is driving 25-30 mph in a 55 mph zone; so, as soon as I safely can, I pass them. However, this week when I got behind the tractor, I had no choice but to follow – I couldn’t pass him because either someone was coming towards me or I was in the no-passing zone – I was forced to drive behind the tractor for 5 miles. Amazingly, what happened in those 5 miles was actually a blessing in disguise.
A blessing? Yes, because this is the week that didn’t seem to stop. I had something extra to do each day so by the time Thursday hit I was exhausted. The blessing was within those 5 miles, I wasn’t rushed, which reminded of the verse that says, “Be Still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Within those 5 miles, He reminded me that He is my rest, my strength, and my refuge. And, within those 5 miles, I began to think about what it meant in my life to follow Jesus when the game Follow the Leader pops in to my mind.
Follow the Leader – it’s a game most children play. A simple game where someone is chosen as the leader and then proceeds to do something that every else must do. That something could be following the leader as he (or she) walks in a crazy sort of line or doing something weird. You’re out when you don’t do what the leader does.
We, as adults, still play this game. We find someone who is a leader and we follow him or her. Sometimes this gets us in trouble; sometimes it makes us a better person. What I find interesting about this game is that we should be following Jesus – but it’s not a game – it’s for real.
There are many instances in Scripture where Jesus is the Leader and people follow Him. It’s the command He used when calling Matthew, one of His disciples – “Follow Me.” It’s what Peter said to Christ, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
But, what about the times when He allows us to be the leader? Those times are when we [ a leader ] reach out to talk to a friend because they’re hurting and need someone to talk to. It’s those times when we see a stranger on the street, hurt, and we know we [ a leader ] must do something to help them. It’s those times when we [ a leader ] must stand up for what is right and true. It’s those times when we are in a leadership [a leader ] role at work, volunteer organization, or at church and we didn’t choose to be. It’s those times as a parent [ a leader ] (enough said).
It’s those times when Jesus follows us. There’s a story in Matthew (9:18 – 26) of a ruler [a leader] who came to Jesus and told Him that his daughter had just died and asked if Jesus would come lay His hand on her so she would live. This next verse reminds me of the “Follow the Leader” game. “So Jesus arose and followed him (19a)”
Jesus followed him. He followed him back to his house (of course He was delayed a bit when the woman who suffered from a blood disease touched him and was healed) to heal the young girl. As far as I know, this is the only place in the Gospels that it says – Jesus followed.
Everything about this story encourages me. It encourages me to know that whenever I’m serving Him, He is there with me. It reminds me that He Follows me to those places He tells me to go. It tells me that He’s with me when I’m in class, at work, or at home. Knowing He’s followed me, helps me when I’m talking with my friend or helping the stranger on the street. I know He’s there with me when I’m standing up for truth. He’s there with me when I am the “Leader” and of course, He never leaves me or forsakes me, especially as a parent.
Be encouraged and know that as we follow Him He follows us. I’m thankful He follows me as I Follow 2 Serve. Even when I’m following behind a tractor that is going way too slow.