Bible; a half bottle of water; box of tissue; picture of me and my daughter at the Father-Daughter Ball; guitar tuner; glass jar filled with assorted candy my secretary keeps filled; half-read books; sticky notes listing people to call and things to do; my desk—a picture of my life. When I consider my past, and all that God has done for me, I stand amazed. For those who knew me before I met Jesus, they stand amazed too. Trust me; the change was radical.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would one day be a pastor. Truth is, if I had seen it coming, I probably would have run in the opposite direction as hard as I could. I’m so glad I didn’t—see it coming that is. I have to tell you, I love what I’m doing. Without a question, only God could have known that I would be so satisfied in the place I now sit.
Ironically, I moved to Florida to work on my uncle’s charter fishing boat. Little did I know how God would spin my love for fishing around and, like Peter and Andrew in the Bible, make me a fisher of men. I find great comfort in their story and also in mine. I especially like the part that describes how their lives were so radically changed. For me, the simple pattern contained in their story has served as a constant reminder of God’s method for changing us all. The account is located in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 19.
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He said unto them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
That’s it; real simple. We follow, He makes. When I finally understood how it worked, so much of the frustration I was experiencing went away. In truth, every time I try to make myself into something, it inevitably ends up a mess. The idea of me following and letting Him do the making part has revolutionized my life.
I can honestly say that every significant and meaningful change I’ve experienced has been the result of God’s doing and not mine. Sure, I had to follow, but the burden of making was on Him. As a result, not only have I grown personally, and been deeply satisfied, but I’ve had the privilege of helping others do the same. Though I’m far from perfect, one thing I am is at peace. I’m absolutely convinced that as I keep following, He’ll keep making me into all that He wants me to be. In the end, one day, I’ll be just like Him. Hard to believe I know, but it is what the Bible promises for all who dare to believe.
The apostle Paul sums it up like this. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:29-32)
If you something inside of you spoke while reading this, please re-share.