One of the things that I think makes it challenging for us to surrender instead of to just keep pushing through is that we've developed this impression that Jesus was an on-the-move kind of Guy. The Gospels can certainly be a whirlwind - from one side of the Sea of Galilee to the other, then back again, through Nazareth for a spell, then on to Bethany. A quick stop or two in Jerusalem, a few days in Samaria, and even some time in Decapolis before coming to a grinding halt (ish) somewhere in the Garden of Gethsemane. And we read that and we just think....whew. Jesus is hard to keep up with.
And that's why it's so easy for us to think that in order to catch up to Jesus, we, too, must constantly be on the move. We, too, must always be in transition from one place to another. We, too, must be on our toes at all times and pushing toward where we want to be. If we stop here...and if Jesus keeps going....
But read that word again: "if."
If Jesus keeps going. And that's really one of our greatest fears, isn't it? That we're going to run completely out of energy before we ever get to Jesus. That our bodies are going to fail us, ours heart are going to faint, our souls are going to drop. That we might even run out of faithfulness before we get there. That even if we run with the best of our ability and fight with all of our strength, there's still a chance that we just run out of gas...and Jesus just keeps going.
None of us wants to spend all of eternity having been that close and yet, so far away.
The good news is that the Good News (the Gospel) actually doesn't paint a picture of the kind of Jesus that we think it does. Not at all. Rather, the Jesus that we see in the Gospels is a Jesus who stops. Who turns around. Who comes back to those crying out for Him. Who crosses seas to get to where the people are. Who crossed eternity to get to us.
He's a Jesus who can be on His way to an official's house and turn around to acknowledge a once-bleeding woman. He's a Jesus who walks through the streets with crowds pressing around Him and stops to acknowledge the blind man on the side of the road. He's a Jesus who changes His teaching in the middle of a crowd because a paraplegic has suddenly been lowered in front of Him and there's a new truth now to be taught. A new love. He's a Jesus who, while walking down the road with persons all around Him, somehow has time - and thoughtfulness - to look up into a tree and see Zacchaeus.
This Jesus on the move, this Jesus who we think is always going from one place to another to another, is a Jesus who stops. He's a Jesus who notices. He's a Jesus who turns toward our weakness when it brings us up short, when it can't get us right in the thick of things. When we can't get there, Jesus brings "there" here. He comes to us, just like He always has. He stops, turns, and loves us.
So this idea that we have, this fear that we have, that we might spend our whole lives in faithfulness and run our tanks empty and dry up all of our strength and never get there...it's bogus. It's false. It's a lie. Because if we don't get there - if we don't get the hem of His robe within our furthest reach, like the bleeding woman did - it's okay. Our Jesus will come to us.
Just like He did the blind men. Just like He did the official's daughter. Just like He did the soldier's slave. Just like He did the disciples. Just like He did Zacchaeus. Just like He always has. He always will.