“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go…Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:18-23, emphasis mine)
Peter has just been put on death row by Jesus. It’s an ominous prophecy that Peter will suffer a fate similar to Jesus. Upon hearing these words Peter’s eye falls upon John, the beloved disciple. To this, he points his finger towards John and asks Jesus, “what about this guy”?
Have you ever felt like Peter?
Here you are trying to make ends meet as a poorly paid factory worker. Some other dude (we’ll call him Jim) that seems to do the same amount of work as you (if not less) makes twice the amount that you do. You know that the Lord has you at this job to be a minister for him. You are thankful that he has provided this job, but when that other guy catches your eye you can’t help but ask, “what about Jim?”
You barely seem to be able to lift your head in the morning. You pray for rescue. You read your Bible as best as you can. You surround yourself with encouraging ladies at your church. You do about everything suggested to overcome this darkness, and yet it doesn’t seem to break. The other ladies at the church are doing the same things that you are and seem filled with laughter and mirth. “What about them?”
When we do not like the lot that the Lord has given us we are tempted to cast our eyes on the life of someone else. What about them?
To this the Lord responds just as he did with Peter, “If I want to pay Jim three times your salary, or cause the other ladies to explode with happiness, that is my prerogative, why do you care?…YOU FOLLOW ME!” Jesus isn’t asking Peter to live the life of John or even to concern himself with the life of John. He will never be accountable for living the life that John is called to live. But he will be accountable for his life. And that is why Jesus turns his focus back and says, you follow me.
If God calls you to suffer (whether through depression, an unjust salary, a physical malady, or anything else) it does very little good for you to look around and say, “What about them, Lord”? Fix your eyes on Jesus and be faithful no matter where he has you. He is the Lord over every sphere of your life. You and I are called to simply follow Him wherever he leads.
The grass may be greener in my neighbors yard but I’m responsible for mowing mine.