I have been afraid. Afraid that I will be like the rich younger ruler; that my desires for earthly things will bind me and keep me from following as I hear Jesus calling me. The law of sin competes in me against the law of life and obedience. I hear Christ say that if I look back, if I don’t forsake all, then I am not worthy to follow. I have come to this conclusion: I am not worthy to follow! I hang my head in sadness like the rich man, but this is where the similarities end. I do not walk away. What? Walk away from the only source of true love, the truth that sets me free? I can’t; even if I am not worthy to follow. I lunge toward Jesus, flinging myself at His feet. I cling to His ankle and say, “No, I’m not worthy, but I am desperate. Nothing is better than You. So if you go, drag me with You, but I can’t let go. I can’t willing walk away from You, the only One who truly loves me, the only real goodness, the peace and joy that are beyond mere knowledge.”
Desperate. Like the woman who had suffered years of hemorrhaging, and reached out to grab Jesus’ robe- not because she deemed herself worthy- just in great need! I fling myself through the crowds, heedless of the hustle and bustle, forgetting all the rules, and I grasp Him because I’m desperate! So, I cling to His ankle, like a determined toddler. Like the second thief on the cross, I’m fully aware of my guilt, of my brokenness, but I must beg of Him, “Remember me.” Not because He should, but because I need Him to.
Waiting to be shaken off His leg, I open my eyes and look up. He smiles, “Don’t be afraid, trust in Me. Your faith has made you well. Truly, you will be with me in paradise.” So, what I thought looked liked a dying person catapulting herself towards life- that is faith.
Like the prodigal son, I say in earnest, “No, really, I’m not worthy to be called an heir. Just let me be near You for a while. Maybe You could give me something to do.”
He laughs in tender kindness and places a robe on me- the stunned beggar. And for the first time, I realize that by focusing on Jesus( knowing my unworthiness, and inability, acting in desperation, flinging myself on Him), I have also left the things I didn’t think I could let go of.
Oh Grace! Praise God. Grace, to me, the unworthy follower.
(I originally wrote this in 2011, but every word is still true and poignant today. Be encouraged.)