My world spun around me. My heart felt like it might cease beating at any moment. I was reeling from a heavy blow and every breath hurt.
I had obeyed God, but I paid a price for my obedience. Repercussions came from unexpected places and the cost was agonizing.
I could not handle the pain. So I crawled, bleeding, to the One who can, and I fell at the feet of my Savior… where I heard precious words whispered into my soul:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV
I hugged His words close and felt His peace wash over me. Soon, however, I wanted more than peace. I wanted to know why.
I asked God, “What is going on? What is Your plan for this situation?”
Searching for answers, I dove into the pages of Scripture. The Lord began to speak to me about death. Not literal death, but death to my expectations – that bittersweet surrender of self-preservation.
He took me to this passage:
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds… Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:24, 26 NIV
The Father whispered to my heart, “Will you allow Me to sow you like a grain of wheat? Are you willing to die to yourself in a new way so that you can produce more fruit?”
“Do I have a choice, God? That’s what You’re doing already, and it hurts. But yes, You can have Your way with me. I know the resurrection at the end of this season will be worth it.”
Then I heard a much more difficult question: “Will you follow Me in this, even if you have to go alone?”
“Please don’t make me go alone. How much worse is this going to get? Who and what will I lose? What will You take away, Lord?”
Thoughts of people and things I love flashed through my mind. I didn’t want to lose any of them. But His urgent whisper was still there: “Even if no one goes with you, will you still follow?”
I began to pray, hoping God would change His mind. But then the words to the old hymn filled my soul: “I have decided to follow Jesus! No turning back! Though none go with me, still I will follow! No turning back!”
And I surrendered.
“Yes, Lord. I will follow You even if no one else goes with me… but I’m scared. I love ___. Please don’t take that away… But if You need to take that, Lord, You can have it.”
If scared is the new brave, I must be the bravest soul on the planet right now. I know that following Jesus through this new season will cost me something, and I don’t want to see — don’t want to imagine — what it will cost.
Nevertheless, I know that, somehow, it will be worth it. He promised to take care of me. He promised that He would never leave me or forsake me.
Are you going through a similar season right now? Are you paying a price for following Jesus?
You may be hurting terribly. If so, I am very sorry. However, I want to encourage you today: your trouble will be worth it.
No matter what season of darkness you may be going through, resurrection is waiting for you on the other side. Even the bleakest circumstances are only temporary. Know this: you will not be alone forever. God’s promise applies to all of us. You are going to bear fruit and a bountiful harvest is coming your way.
Look up, my friend. It’s going to be all right.
In what situation should you anticipate a harvest today?