The Next Thing…by Judy Robertson
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV).”
One of my weaknesses is failure to comprehend and accept the depth of God’s love for me, His imperfect child. Embracing His unconditional love often eludes me. Jesus, however, does not keep a score card of our failures. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).
When the disciples failed to stay awake and “keep watch” for Jesus, He didn’t chastise them, but said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak…Rise! Let us go!” He’s telling us not to let our imperfections get us down but get up and start on the next thing.
Peter “broke down and wept” (Mark 14:72 NIV) when he recognized he’d so carelessly denied his Lord. But Jesus didn’t hold this against him and later told Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Peter did not become paralyzed by his failure. He did what Jesus instructed him to do. He did the next thing.
I’ve discovered that when I look back and despair over what I didn’t do and perhaps worry over what I think I can’t accomplish, it’s the start of a downward spiral that leads to depression. I need help remembering Jesus’ admonition to His disciples to “Watch and pray” because we are vulnerable to temptation even when we desire to do right.
As Jesus needed His disciples to pray, so we need others to pray with us as we face our Gethsemanes. Because we really are, “Doin’ Life Together,” I depend on my dear friends, writers who are traveling this journey with me to watch and pray. Time and again they have not only prayed, but have been there encouraging me in the next step God has planned for my life. And so I am, “Forgetting what is hehind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13 NIV)