You’re off to work, or school, first thing in the morning. Grabbing a caffeinated drink, you hastily shove a half-burnt piece of toast into your mouth before you rush out the door, avoiding the downpour outside, and you get in the car. The inevitable accident on the highway causes you to be late, and you can’t find a parking space close enough to the door to avoid getting drenched. In you walk to your meeting, not only late, but soaked. And that’s when you realize you left all your papers at home. You are defeated. You are tired. And you are frustrated.
A few months ago, I had the privilege of seeing the play production of JESUS, performed by Sight & Sound Productions in Lancaster, Pennsylvannia. It was a beautiful sight to behold, watching the unfolding of Jesus’ life in the form of a musical. And as I had predicted, there was not a single dry eye in sight.
In seeing Jesus’ life play out before my eyes, I had a few revelations. One thing I happened to notice was the relationship between the disciples, and in their connections to Jesus. Primarily a group of fisherman (and a tax collector), the group of men who made up the 12 disciples were not necessarily favoured by society.
I think, as Christians today, we tend to idolize the twelve disciples. They absolutely should be revered—after all, they did walk side by side with Jesus. But, they were, like us, human. And they were, like most people in my circles of friends, under the age of 30. They were young adults making their way in the world, and I’m sure that they must have had their “off” days, even if we don’t consider the religious persecution they faced.
It also struck me how the disciples didn’t know what they were doing. Not that they didn’t have proper guidance under Jesus’ wing, but that they were awfully young.
I turned the ripe old age of 25 a week ago. A quarter of a century—I’m now officially older than my mother was when she gave birth to her first child. When I was younger, I thought that my parents knew everything. And while they have a wealth of knowledge that comes with experience, I realize now that they don’t know everything, and they must have known significantly less when they were in their twenties (sorry, mom). Likewise, I’m not sure the disciples would have known what their lives would hold. It’s an odd concept to realize that our leaders are really just trying their best.
If the disciples knew everything, they wouldn’t have been so devastated that Jesus died. They wouldn’t have let fear get in the way of their walk with the Lord. They would have had more hope. If the disciples—the men of God—didn’t have it all figured out, why should we?
I know what some of you may be thinking: it’s easy to say this when we’re in a good place. But most of us are broken. Some of us may be having a hard time in their job hunt, have family members with illnesses, or maybe they lack a close friend. Don’t worry about it, it’ll all work out, Christians say. Don’t complain. But it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to ask for a different plan. Remember, Christians: even Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prayed for His burden to be taken from Him.
I think the unpredictability of life is the point of it all. If life were predictable, why would we need a God to rely on? We wouldn’t. So I’m thankful for the mountains, hills, and valleys, because I not only see the destination on the mountaintops, but He gives me a hand when I’m on the climb.