Immediately they left their boat and their father

For the past 24 hours this has been on my heart and I thought to share it with you:

This weekend was the high school graduation party of my beautiful sister Jessica. On my mom’s side I have three sisters whom I am very close to. ALL of the sisters were together this weekend to celebrate this special occasion, except for one, me. I had my day of feeling sorry for myself and “Boo-hoo, poor little me, who has to miss out.” Yes, I threw myself a small pity-party and then I got over it. I called them yesterday to let them know the sex of the baby and they were all together with my mom going to dinner, “Boo-hoo, poor me”.

I have a devotional for missionary women called “Screams in the Desert” and these are two of the verses I read last night: ” Going on from there He [Jesus] saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebdee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He [Jesus] called them. IMMEDIATELY THEY LEFT THE BOAT AND THEIR FATHER, AND FOLLOWED HIM” -Matthew 4:21-22.

I was in awe after I had read that. It slapped me in the face. How many times have I read this in the Bible and heard about in Sunday school and yet NEVER really understood the sacrifice and gravity of the situation. Imagine John and James chatting and laughing together with their dad, maybe they were talking about how many fish they would catch that day, dreaming that it would bring in good money for their families. Imagine Zebedee looking at his sons with pride. Two sons to carry on the family name and the family business. Then, in one instant, it all changed. The young men looked up, it was Jesus, He called to them, and they could not resist, THEY HAD TO FOLLOW CHRIST NO MATTER THE COST.

Now, consider what they left. They left their father in the boat alone, they left their careers behind; all to follow a man they saw on the shore afar off. He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”, and to them that was better than their jobs, and, more important than family.

I knew when I read this that God was speaking to John and I. That passage was for me that night. Reminding me that He called and we had no choice but to follow, to give up everything we held dear so that Christ could make us “fishers of men”. I’m not writing all of this to lift us up, oh no, for we are nothing without Him. I write this because I want to proclaim how gracious God is to us. When we throw ourselves a “pity-party” or start feeling bad, or have an inkling of doubt, God turns to us and says, “Don’t you remember that I asked you to follow me and you did? I WILL be faithful to you”. He gently and lovingly puts us back in our place. I have so much admiration for the disciples now and I can empathize with their situation.

I also want to encourage any one out there who might be thinking that what God is asking you to do seems impossible or that He is asking you to give up too much. Yes, you are right, He is asking you to give up everything, but look at what you will gain! The disciples gained so much and even more when they joined Christ in heaven.

10 thoughts on “Immediately they left their boat and their father

  1. Ma

    Right on! Congrats on a baby girl! I know you must be excited, I agree it’s always nice when siblings have another of the same sex. I’m wondering how you’re feeling? I’m overwhelmed right now with my move, it changes day to day, now I’m being pushed to start to move Thurs instead of Sat. when I had planned to. Love ya, Ma

  2. Donna Chapman

    God is so good to show you that scripture just when you needed it.

    Love the title “Screams in the Desert” LOL!

  3. Valerie Wilson

    Melissa, you will be rewarded for your selflessness. Nothing in this world is so gratifying as doing God’s will. But you do need to come back to the states and visit your family at some point because we all MISS YOU!

  4. Curt Hansen

    Just another example that we can never underestimate the power (and timing) of God and His Word. He is awesome. You and John are pretty awesome too.

  5. Marty

    Powerful post! God is doing some serious refining in your life all to fish for some broken men and women in Gales Point. We love you and are so proud of both of you!

  6. Maureen Read

    I went through the same thoughts years ago when I was a missionary teacher in Beirut. Major homesickness and culture shock. No man puts his hand to the plow and looking back is worthy….

    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    Blessings, Maureen

  7. Marcia Flinchum

    Mel, I am going to share this with the other women when we meet together at the retreat. Thanks for sharing from your heart!

  8. Mom

    The Lord is gently teaching you so many valuable lessons. And as Marcia said, thank you for sharing them because we ALL need to learn them. You are ministering to us as the Lord is ministering to you.

  9. Debbie Doggett

    Thank you, Mel, for your obedience to take the time to write so that the rest of us can be reminded, refined, and refocused in our following the LOrd. Loved it!

  10. Jessica Carns

    Melissa! I have not been keeping up with your blog but I am going through and reading the ones I have missed! This was so encouraging to me, thank you for sharing. It is so wonderful to be able to see the lessons God is teaching you through your ministry in Belize. I am praying for you always.

    By the way, we had a lot of fun but you were greatly missed. The sisterhood is not complete without you! 😛

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