“Come follow me,” Jesus said…
Matthew 4:19 (NIV)
The other day, I was listening to a sermon on following Jesus. The Pastor, who preaches in Birmingham, told a story about a man who went to a Greyhound dog race down in Florida.
The man was visiting the race track for the first time. Someone explained to him that in order to get the Greyhounds to race they need some sort of incentive. At the track they used a mechanical rabbit to get the dogs to run. On this particular day, the Greyhounds were chasing after the mechanical rabbit when there was an electrical short which caused the rabbit to explode. When the rabbit exploded there was mass confusion with the dogs. One dog panicked; it broke through the inner rail shattering all its ribs. Another dog sat down on the track facing the crowd and began barking hysterically. The other dogs walked around on the track unsure of where they should go.
Without something to follow the Greyhounds were completely lost and confused.
One of the first steps in any kind of healing, whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual, is to make the choice to follow Jesus. I think we were created with a desire in our hearts to know and follow the Lord. Unfortunately, many of us end up following other things/people in place of the Lord.
I spent the first two-thirds of my life desperately following anything/anyone except Jesus. I was on a search to find something/someone who could fill the void that I felt in my heart. The void that was never fully filled – no matter how much I tried to stuff into it!
I followed after people who I thought could take away the pain of an empty heart. That led me down a dark road covered in potholes of depression, anxiety, and years of loneliness. Following after a person to fill that void was useless. It was also extremely unfair to the other person because my desperate need for love was suffocating.
I also followed after alcohol and drugs. I was under the delusion that if I stayed high then the void in my heart would be full. That assumption backfired big time! The more high I got the bigger the void seemed to get. All alcohol and drugs did was mask the void creating a false sense of joy while the high lasted. Alcohol and drugs were a temporary bandaid that would never be able to fill anything.
My following after people/things was doomed from the start because those things always ended up exploding in my face. The explosion left me dazed, confused, and lost. I had the same reactions as the Greyhounds. I panicked when I had nothing to follow. I hurt myself physically, I got agitated and ended up yelling (barking) at others, and for years I walked around confused not sure where I should go in life.
It wasn’t until I chose to follow Jesus that healing truly began in my life. He will never explode leaving me lost. He will always lead me in the right direction. He won’t leave me wandering around confused. In fact, He will find me no matter where I am.
Making the choice to follow Jesus was the first step in my healing process.
If you haven’t made the choice to follow Jesus or if the circumstances of your life have led you away from following Jesus, I encourage you to drop by the Glennon House. One of our trained Prayer Ministers would be honored to pray with you as you choose to follow (or re-follow) Jesus.