It was a difficult time.
I was young, and everything I’d grown up believing was being passed through a giant sifter – wheat landing on this side, chaff landing on that…only the wheat and the chaff, they were parts of my own heart. So much insecurity, so much fear, so much learning what it meant to stand and still be held up by faith that moves mountains. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that girl, 19 years old, and tell her a few things.
Instead, she comes back to me every now and then to offer a reminder or two. Today, she showed up in John, chapter 6.
I remember, in the middle of my great struggle for faith…or with faith, of faith, whichever…knowing that no matter what, I wasn’t letting go of God. Like Jacob, when he wrestled with the angel. Even if it meant a lifetime of grappling with this question no one else could answer, I would not turn loose. Then I read John 6, and it sank way down deep into my spirit, into that place reserved only for those moments when He speaks, and you know – you know – He has heard your cry for mercy.
On hearing this, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
…From this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”*
And there was the cry of my heart. Even in my doubt, even in my fear – where else would I go? Whom had I in heaven but Him? So I held on. I dug in, and I wrestled until He blessed me. Again and again, He blessed me.
So that’s what I remember today – that even when the outcome seems so very uncertain, and all you see is struggle ahead, there is absolutely no other way worth pursuing. Only Him. Only Jesus.
*John 6:60, 66-69