I really think I want more of my Savior. I want Him to be more in control of my life. I want to surrender more. Really, I do.
Or do I?
If I’m honest with myself, I might be a little more like the ancient Israelites and the Jews of Jesus’ time than I’d like to admit.
I’ve been reading in John lately. Actually, Doug and I have been copying John, little by little. It slows me down. A lot. We’ve been in John 6 for quite some time now, copying just a few verses every day. But, I’ve read backwards and forwards as I’ve written, thinking about what has come before and after each passage I copy. The feeding of the 5,000 and everything that comes after, as recorded in John, have been rolling around in my mind for a while.
First, I notice that the people don’t ask to be fed. They’re just following Jesus, and He chooses to feed them.
I’ve been spiritually fed before when I haven’t asked for it. I’ve just been trying to follow Jesus. And He’s given me more than I ever would have thought to ask for. These people probably had no expectation at all that Jesus could feed all of them. Yet He did.
Once they’ve been fed, though, they discover that they aren’t satisfied. They want Jesus to be their ruler so they will never go hungry again.
This isn’t inherently bad. Jesus does things that we may crave more of Him. But…
They are misguided as to what they want. They crave the physical provision that Jesus offered once. What He has for them, however, is a different sort of provision. Eternal life. Caught up in Himself. They’re not too sure about this.
Every time God offers me a piece of Himself, I draw back a bit. It’s not what I expected. It’s more intense. It’s more costly. It’s more overwhelming than anything I ever could have anticipated. It’s a bit frightening.
Jesus points back to the Israelites. They were hungry, so God gave them manna from heaven. But, what did they do? They complained! It was boring. It was the same thing day in and day out. It was miraculous food…and they got tired of it.
I’m really no better than the ancient Israelites. I’m no better than the Jews of Jesus’ time. I get perfection. Bread from heaven. But not just manna to fill my stomach. No, I get the Bread of Life. Yet I falter. I turn back and look for bread from this corrupt world. I complain. Yes, I’m not better than they were.
At the same time, though, I still hunger. I analyze and evaluate myself, and I realize that Jesus Christ really is the bread I long for. I really do want more of Him. I might allow myself to be distracted from Him. I might discover that what He gives is very different from what I expected. I might respond with a bit of complaining. But, when it really comes down to it, I want Him. I want the truth of what He has to offer.
I think Peter says it best:
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God. John 6:68-69
Oh how patient my Savior is with me! I seek Him half-heartedly, and He gives me all. I complain, and He shows me truth. Truly, there is nowhere else to go.
Yes, it’s true. I really do want more of Him.