There is a lot going on in our family today: One child has Physical Therapy in another city, one child is getting to fly out-of-state, and another is waiting some important certification documentation that needs to come soon. But there's one more thing going on - it's an away game for middle school volleyball tonight. This means there was a lot for a 12-year old girl to make sure she had with her when we left the house today:
A backpack and a lunch box
A Water bottle
$5 for movie day at school and another $5 for wearing a Christmas shirt on picture day
And...all the necessities for her volleyball game
When we started to head out the door, I asked her if she had "everything she needed for volleyball". I knew she needed her bag, her shoes, her jersey and shorts, and knee pads. I expected to have her recite those essentials so we could check them off verbally but I didn't expect to hear her say "lip balm". Of all the things she needed to make sure went out the door with her, I wouldn't have picked that. I didn't argue with her, but I did have a hard time wondering why that was so important at a time like this. And then I realized there are some things we think we need to take with us, but there are probably some that we should not worry about so much. Lip balm would make that list for me.
In Matthew 4, Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee and saw some men fishing. Of course He did, but I think He saw more than just what these dudes did for a living. I believe He saw who they could become if they would decide to follow Him. And when He invited them to do that, they did that. Matthew combines the calling of these four men into two incidents, where Peter and Andrew hear Him (and later, James and John). I've always been fascinated by these events and I'm drawn to them again today, especially when I look at how they responded to this invitation:
"At once they left their nets and followed Him...Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him." (Matthew 4:20, 22)
I admire these men for how quickly they dropped everything and left it to follow Him. They didn't worry about who or what they were leaving behind, they didn't need to hear the itinerary, and they didn't need to know what kind of benefits package this job offered. They just left. They left a business, home, security, comfort, friends, a father...and if they had it around back then, they probably would've left some lip balm behind as well.
This response should move us to get moving as well. There are times when Jesus calls us to go and do something for Him, and that may involve leaving where we think we should be and leaving behind whatever we think we need to take. If you've ever felt the call of Jesus, you've experienced this, too. I don't know what item(s) would make your list of necessities that you need to have packed to bring with you, but just remember Who is calling us and What He is capable of doing for us. At another point in the Bible, we are reminded that our God "will meet all your needs according to His Glorious Riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Since He promises to do that, we don't have to worry about whether we are taking everything we think we need for the journey. What we need to do is make sure we are going with Him and relying on Him to provide what we need.
As you pray this week, you should ask God to provide for you in that way. You should be willing to go where He tells you to go and say what He tells you to say and do what He tells you to do. You shouldn't worry about what you will eat or drink or wear. Instead, you should seek Him first and then watch what He does to provide for you. I can't promise you that He will be concerned about blessing you with that lip balm you want, but He will give you what you need. Isn't that enough?!?