Following the teachings of Christ and applying them to my life is turning out to be one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced. The more I learn about Christ’s life and read his parables, the more I understand how much more I have to learn. Even when I’m sure abiding in Jesus will make me a better man, I still struggle, searching for stronger and better proof that following The Lord is what I’m called to do.
I've struggled a great deal over the years with the idea of submission — its always seemed to me more connected with things lost, given up, or removed; but I’m slowly seeing how the deeper meanings and explanations from the Bible have more to do with what is found, received, and filled.
There is a short little parable in John (4:43-54) about Jesus’s healing of a sick son of an important man. I've always assumed the official was a skeptical mayor or county clerk or maybe someone of royalty. But Jesus seems a bit frustrated with the man’s request to come and heal his son—I can imagine giving a deep sigh as he notes that unless some people actually see the “signs and wonder” then they do not believe. But then something strange happens -- Jesus heals the boy, tells the father, effectively denying him the opportunity to actually see, with his own eyes, the miracle. Sure, the official gets the full benefits of the healing, namely his son’s miraculous recovery, but he was not there to see or witness it. He only heard about it from Jesus and his servant.
I take a great deal of courage from this story, in that the official eventually becomes a strong believer and encourages his entire family to do the same. I also love the fact that the father wants to know the exact moment that his son’s condition took a turn for the better, where he finds out it directly coincides with his own conversation with Jesus. It’s as if he wants one, last piece of proof to allow him to fully trust and give himself over to The Truth. Why do we do that? Why do I do that? All the proof he needed was already there, but he has a have one more. If nothing else, he can point to the exact moment of his decision to abide in Christ.
I can empathize with that kind of desire to know the exact moment when something happens, but it very rarely comes. With that said, I am encouraged that Jesus is patient enough to give me the time I need to figure out that abiding in Him will give me the strength not to need one more piece of proof.