Follow Jesus (Holy Week Tuesday)
Today's devotional comes from "Falling Into Goodness," a book of Lenten reflections by Chuck DeGroat. You can purchase the entire book on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle.
Tuesday in Holy Week
The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. John 12:23-26
Jesus will be there with you. Right there with you. Before you and behind you. To your left and to your right. At your head and at your feet. In your inmost being. Jesus will be right there with you.
He says, Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. He will be there.
We follow Jesus like a grain that falls to the ground and dies. We follow Jesus to the ground, to our ground.
Like my student in a MA in Counseling program who I was assigned to supervise. He thought he had entered to get the skills necessary to help others in need. But he didn’t realize he was in need. I recall the evening when he was counseling an addict on the verge of losing his marriage. I was watching through one of those mirrored windows. I watched him stumble through the counseling session, trying to offer bits of advice that were not landing. We debriefed afterwards and I offered a hard truth:
“John, you’re that man,” I said with a compassionate seriousness. He stared at me blankly. “You’ve been trying to fix your own broken life with some duct tape here and some gauze bandages there, but it’s worse than you think, isn’t it?”
His head dropped, and tears began to flow. Soon enough, the dam broke, and he was crying out, “I’m hurting so much. It hurts so bad.” I wrapped my arms around his back and held him for 10 minutes.
The grain of wheat dropped into the earth that evening. He followed Jesus to his ground. He watered it with his tears. And the dying continued for the next months. But what began to emerge was beautiful goodness. Compassion – for himself and for others. Patience. Humility.
I watched as his entire posture changed with his clients. Gone were the quick fixes and in was empathy. His own tears flowed as he sat in hard places with clients.
I think that he is one of those who Jesus refers to when he says Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
The grain that falls to the earth falls into goodness.
Humble Savior, I follow you on the path that leads into the earth, into what feels like dying but ultimately transforms. I follow you. Amen