Keep Your Eyes on Him
Jesus replied, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62, NIV
Smoke steamed from the hood, the van puttered and gasped, and my husband pulled to the side of the road. Four hot, cranky kids wailed from the back seats. Our family had been through a rough patch—several years of financial struggle, relationship issues, and the normal exhaustion of raising small children—and we were on our way to our first vacation in years. We’d prayed so hard that God would refresh us, strengthen us and help our family grow closer. Instead, our van died on the second day on the road, stranding us in a small town in Canada. The part needed to fix the car wouldn’t arrive for a week, and the cost of repairs was the last straw in our financial stress. In a moment of utter frustration, I told God I didn’t think I wanted to follow Him anymore. I’d given my life to serving Him, and it seemed life just went from one relentless struggle to the next.
I repented soon after, but was shocked at how I’d looked back from the plow. Jesus often spoke of counting the cost of following Him and the long-term commitment required. Only a decade earlier in a college class, I’d told a professor I’d die for my faith rather than deny it. It didn’t take the threat of a firing squad to make me question the wisdom of following Jesus—just a broken-down car, more debts and a disrupted vacation. Shame hit me as I confronted my lack of commitment. I’d been so confident I would follow Jesus anywhere, but the ordinary hardships of life made me doubt His love.
We were able to rent a van and continue our drive to the mountains. The grandeur of alpine forests and snowy peaks, the sheer size and beauty of God’s creation, spoke deeply to my heart and reminded me that no matter how big my problems seem, He is bigger. I made a quiet commitment to put my hand to the plow and keep my focus on Jesus in the coming days.
FAITH STEP: Are there situations that have made you pull back from wholehearted trust in following Jesus? Invite Him to renew your faith today, and make a new commitment to keep your eyes on Him.
Written by Sharon Hinck