One of Jesus’ commands to us was simply “Follow Me.” When we follow Him, we are his disciples. Billy Graham once said that being a disciple means we want to learn from Him. We do this through studying the Bible, listening to others teach from it, and making the Bible part of your life every day.
But that’s not enough. I once heard it said that someone was so heavenly-minded they were no earthly good. If we have all this knowledge about Him but don’t put it into action, what use is it? Being a disciple also means we want to put God’s word into action by seeking to live the way Christ wants us to live — with God’s help. He often does this when we are talking with Him in prayer. No matter is too small or too large for prayer.
God is certainly concerned about the big things in our life. And we are right to seek His guidance in those decisions. Several years ago, I registered as a bone marrow donor. It sounded like a good thing to do and was told the chances of being selected were really quite slim. There are a number of factors in obtaining a match, the more factors are present, the better the chances that it will be successful. One day I got a phone call from the bone marrow center. I was told that I was a perfect match for someone needing a transplant. For a non-relative, perfect matches are rare. This patient was a 33-year old father of two, a carpenter by trade. He had been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Without a transplant, his life expectancy was very short. The doctor described my part in the donation process and he said it would take a while for me to return to normal as I would feel like a horse kicked me in my rear end.
I was debating and praying about whether I wanted to do this. One day while praying, James 4;17 came to mind. “To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” That hit me right between the eyes and I knew what I needed to do. Sin is not just what we do, it is what we fail to do.
So I proceeded with the donation. I was on pins and needles because the patient had to undergo preparation and if something happened that I could not give, he had no hope. But all went well. An interesting sidelight to the process was that the marrow was withdrawn at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg and I had to stay overnight. Being an adult patient in a children’s hospital meant that all the staff knew why I was there and they did not cease to show their appreciation for what I was doing. A funny thing happened right after I got to my room and woke up from the procedure. The nurse came in to check on me and asked me to sit up. All was well. Then she asked me to stand. She immediately shouted “Sit.” Gloria was there and laughed. She said that when I stood, you could see my face immediately drain and turn white.
Yes, He is the God of the big things. But I was recently reminded that God also cares about every aspect of our lives and uses us in small ways. Sometimes we are not even aware of Him leading us. There is an exhibit at a museum nearby by where I live and I really wanted to see it. Due to my recent eye surgery I do not feel comfortable driving that far.
I had thought about posting on Facebook, seeing if anyone would like to drive me there, and I would offer to pay their admission. But I was hesitant. What if only one person responded and I didn’t want to go with them. What could I tell them? “Sorry, I just don’t want to go with you” just wouldn’t cut it. One night I was watching TV and got a strong impression that I should make that Facebook post right now, never even thinking it was a God thing. So I did.
Unbeknownst to me, at the very time I was posting it on Facebook, someone we will call Jane was visiting a friend who we will call Linda. Jane was lamenting to Linda that she really would like to attend this exhibit but just couldn’t afford it right now, as she has had a difficult time lately. When Jane got home, she checked her Facebook page and saw my post and excitedly responded “YES!” She called Linda and told her what transpired. So Jane and I are going to the exhibit. Jane commented that she loves the way God cares about all the silly little details of our lives and makes it a point to meet those needs in perfect little ways.
In another situation, God took care of my need without me even lifting it up in prayer. Gloria and I were traveling to my Dad’s funeral – not a short trip. We needed to stop and make a purchase. The parking lot was packed. I was tired and frustrated. A lady was going to her car, and indicated to me to follow her. She gave me her parking spot.
A number of times in the Bible, Jesus said “Follow Me.” Sometimes it’s just those two words. Other times, he makes a promise. Still other times, he lays out conditions of following him. But He leaves no doubt that we who call upon Him as Savior and Lord are called to follow him, and obey.
Pictured above is an Inukshuk. Although they are not Christian symbols they are found in the Arctic, traditionally built by the Intuit. Among their many practical functions, they are used as hunting and navigational aids, coordination points and message centers, perhaps indicating where food was stored. The word Inukshuk means to act in the capacity of a human. I like to think that’s how God comes to us – Immanuel, God with us. God providing through others. None of the incidents I discussed earlier would have come to be if we did not take action to help someone.
We are to follow Him in everything. He cares about the big picture of our lives and he cares about the minutiae. He cares about everything. He is Lord of ALL of our lives.