There’s always the “next”
For reading & meditation: Luke 9:51-62
“‘ and they went to another village.” (v.56)
What are we discovering? We are seeing that nothing is lost when we surrender ourselves to God – indeed, everything is gained. When we lose ourselves, we find ourselves. We throw ourselves at Christ’s feet, and end up by sitting with Him on His throne, where He invites us to co-operate with Him in turning chaos into cosmos and bringing good out of everything. What a way to live! I wouldn’t change it for anything. When we fully understand what “dying to self” means, we then face obstacles and opposition in an entirely different frame of mind. We see them in the way Jesus saw them – not as obstacles, but as opportunities. When the Samaritans refused to receive Jesus and His disciples, the account says that, after Jesus had rebuked the disciples for wanting to retaliate, “they went to another village”. Life always has “another village”. If you are opposed in this one, then you pass on to the next. If there is one lesson I have learned in life, it is this: there is always a “next”. And that next village was, in fact, nearer Jesus’ final goal. He didn’t have to go so far the next day. He advanced toward His goal by way of the snobbery and fear that He encountered among the Samaritans. Thank God life always has “another village”. Is the way ahead strewn with endless obstacles and opposition? Then, providing you have died to your own instinct for self-preservation, you and God are able to team up and make the obstacles into new opportunities. Nothing can frustrate the Christian who has died to himself, and lives out the purposes of Another. Nothing.
Lord Jesus, You who were never deterred by the blocking of Your plans, help me to approach life with that same attitude. Show me that when one “village” remains closed to me, there is always the “next”. For Your own dear Name’s sake. Amen.
For further study:
1. What happened when Paul’s way was blocked?
2. Who was leading Paul?