Last Friday, I found myself depressed. I opened God’s Word, and He began speaking this message to my heart. I pray it helps someone.
“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’
Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:66-69 ESV).
I’m drawn to this story. Why? Because I find myself pondering Peter’s question: “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
With the difficulties and disappointments that come, I find myself realizing the sacrifices of following Jesus. And it’s like Jesus is asking me, “Do you want to go away as well?”
And I can. I absolutely can. And on the surface, my life would be easier.
And who is this God—this Jesus—who requires us to deny ourselves, take up a cross, and follow Him? (see Mark 8:34). That’s not an easy life.
I hear that question. Jesus asks, “Do you want to go away as well?” I ponder it, but I remember my past. I remember what it was like to live in sin. I remember the guilt. And shame. And condemnation. And just plain misery inside of me.
But thankfully, God grabbed my heart. Now, I’m faced with disappointments. I’m faced with glimpses of what it’s like to not follow God. Oh, how much more appealing it seems.
Jesus’ question continues to ring in my ear, “Do you want to go away as well?”
But I just can’t. I can’t imagine anything else. I can’t imagine living like that. I can’t imagine finding myself without this God. So with Peter, I say, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
And I’m going to tell you one thing I’ve learned in my short life: it’s all about where you go. I am who I am today because I had nowhere else to go but God’s Word. People can think what they want about me, but it’s all about where one goes. There are plenty of other options. Like sex and drugs. But it’s all about where you go. So with Peter, all I can say is, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
There comes a time when you realize the cost of following Jesus. You realize the sacrifice. Before long, you realize you deny yourself for the sake of obeying God. And trust me, there comes a time when you contemplate walking the easier way. But it’s not an easier way. It just looks that way.
So when you’re disappointed and hard times come, it’s all about where you go. And if you go to Jesus, you’ll find satisfaction. I mean, where else can we go?
Isaiah Pauley is a 2018 graduate of Wahama High School and attends Ohio Christian University. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.