Do you ever see someone who has exactly what you have been praying for?
Have you ever looked at someone else’s life and thought…Okay, Lord, what about me?
I remember, in my youthful-and-pitiful-and-desperately-wanting-a-boyfriend days, I was obsessed with a song called Someone Else’s Star. It’s by an artist who was popular for a season and has now probably resorted to performing at state fairs and Dollywood. The chorus begins…I guess I must be wishin’ on someone else’s star…It seems like someone else keeps getting what I’m wishin’ for…Pitiful, I know.
Yet, as I was reading in the book of John this morning, I realized two things…One – I haven’t changed all that much. I’m still looking at what other people have and feeling quite slighted…Two – This habit of always looking at someone else and questioning the fairness of life is nothing new.
Let me set the scene…
Jesus has just informed Peter that, in his old age, he would be killed and his death would glorify God. Jesus tells him that his hands will be outstretched – indicating a martyr’s death by crucifixion.
I can only imagine the horror that Peter must have felt. There are certain things about my life that I do not want to know…the manner of my death being high on the list. So, I can completely understand Peter’s response.
Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following…
Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ – John 21:20-21 NKJV
My first thought is…Well, that is a very legitimate question. I’m going to die this horrible death? Okay…what about him?
Peter is referring to John, the beloved disciple…the one who laid his head on Jesus’ chest during supper…the disciple known as the one whom Jesus loved. I imagine that Peter was hurt. But Lord…what about him…the one you love so much…what’s going to happen to him?
I must say that I was shocked by Jesus’ response.
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” – John 21:22 NIV
Basically, Jesus responds…That would be none of your business, Peter. You need only concern yourself with following me.
That one verse was like a slap in the face to me.
That would be none of your business, Stacy. What I choose to give to someone else? What I choose to do for someone else? What is that to you? Your only concern should be following Me.
That, my friends, was a bitter pill to swallow…God does not owe me any explanations. He is under no obligation to explain Himself or His plan to me…and, if He did, I still wouldn’t understand it. It’s beyond me. That’s why I am not to concern myself with it.
I was a little down this morning having learned yesterday of another friend who will be leaving work to stay home with her children. I was, most definitely, bringing to God’s attention the fact that…Hello. I have been asking for that very thing. Why her?
And God, not so gently, responded…
What is that to you? You must follow Me.