Hey Bethel, this is Sarah Landon, and it’s great to be back with you going through the gospel of Luke.
Today we’re in Luke 10. It has so many things I’d love to chat with you guys about- The 72 disciples, the Good Samaritan, Martha and Mary. But for today, we’re going to stick with the 72.
So, a chapter ago, Jesus sends out the twelve, his go-to guys. They went out, they healed, and news of Jesus spread. Now, it seems it’s time to send out more, so we’re dipping into the B team, and 72, two-by-two, out they go. With specific instructions- no money, no bag, no extras, and don’t get distracted on your way. Just eat and drink what the people provide.
This is how a good businessman sends out his salespeople in Oppositeland. This is so contrary to human nature, isn’t it?
“Who are you going to send, Jesus?” “Oh, these uneducated guys who’ve been hanging out with me for a while.”
“What will they take with them?” “Pretty much nothing.”
Have you ever felt that way going into a situation? Completely unprepared, ill equipped, unpracticed. Maybe a little like 2020. Before everyone ran out and bought toilet paper.
But seriously, sometimes we hit a chapter in our life where we just don’t feel like we have what we need, to do what we’re called to do. I felt a little like that back in 2017, when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It’s basically an auto-immune condition that doesn’t really go away, but can be kept in remission, maybe. And it’s triggered by stress.
My life went from being active: engaging, contributing, driving, pushing, striving to the loss of my physical health, my energy, my capacity, and left with lots and lots of questions. I couldn’t just knuckle down and will my way through this one. I felt like God had taken away all of the things I needed, to do what I wanted to do.
And that’s just the thing.
I was doing what I wanted to do, but I know now, I wasn’t doing what He had called me to, or doing it how He wanted me to do it. See, when your health, energy, and capacity go away, you know what’s left? Jesus.
I think that’s why things like fasting can be so effective. We realize how much we rely on Jesus and lean into God to carry us through. When Jesus instructs his 72 to go empty handed, they rely on God’s grace and it builds a new level of reliance, surrender, and trust. Their faith grows.
In the end, you know it was by God’s power, because yours just isn’t there. I’m happy to report that I’ve been in remission for three years and counting and it’s by God’s grace. But more than the physical healing, I’m learning contentment in my limits as a God-reliant disciple. I’m saying a gracious no to things I would have jumped at before. I’m letting others take the lead, and rejoicing in their success. I’m resting. I’m finding that I am enough because He is enough.
Maybe right now you feel ill-equipped, unprepared, or overwhelmed. Maybe it’s time to rely completely on the one who will never leave or forsake you, but cares deeply for you and is in control.
We don’t have to have it all together to do the work Jesus calls us to, we just have to obey and trust. Will you pray with me?
Lord, the harvest is plentiful, let us be the laborers you are calling us to be. Help us to believe, to trust, and to obey your calling, because of who YOU are. In your mighty name, Amen.