“Not every time will be magical; you are digging through the dirt and looking for rock, not floating on clouds. Not one time that you show up to be with Jesus is worthless to him; keep pushing through distraction. . . . When you show up repeatedly, the distractions will lessen. Keep showing up.”- Alli Patterson
“I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ “- Acts 26:14 (NIV)
Alli Patterson concludes Chapter 2 of How to Stay Standing as she talks about a fascinating expression Jesus used in speaking to Saul on the road to Damascus. Jesus noted how hard it was for Saul to kick against the goads. The term goads refers to pointy spear-like instruments farmers used to direct a stubborn ox in the fields.
Once in a while, an ox kicked at the goad. However, such kicks never changed the farmer’s direction. Instead, the goad only caused the ox more pain.
So, Alli observes, even if an aversion to come to Jesus makes you want to kick against Him, you’re being drawn by the Holy Spirit. Hence, Alli adds:
“The Bible shows us a God who can influence the human heart in all its complexities, a God who somehow has the ability to draw you to him at your very core even as you kick against him in the process.”
Above all, Jesus promises to fill, strengthen, and satisfy you when you make time to come to Him. Furthermore, Jesus goes beyond answering this prayer. In addition, He will use other people to help you in the process. Because, Alli advises, the Christian life isn’t a solo sport.
Thus, part of showing up to be with Jesus involves showing up in a community of Christ-followers. They provide the access point to experiencing the fullness of Jesus. His heart, mind, hands, feet, hugs, comfort, care, and service.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you keep pushing through distraction? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The wise builder digs deep”