Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2
Dear Lord Jesus, this simple story confronts and corrals my wandering heart this morning. Two unschooled, ordinary fishermen, Peter and John, were radically changed because “these men had been with Jesus”—with you, the same Lord who lives in my heart and rules all things from heaven.
O, to be a man about whom others would be inclined to say, “He’s obviously been with Jesus. What else could explain his merciful heart for the broken, his courage in the face of injustice, and his calm in the presence of chaos? What other motivation and reason would he have for loving so boldly, forgiving so quickly, and sharing so generously? What else could account for his patience when provoked, his loud laugh and his ready tears, the way he treats his wife and looks a stranger in the eye?”
How well I know, Lord Jesus, that doing noble things for you is not the same thing as spending life-giving time with you. Thinking great thoughts about you is not the same thing as vital communion with you. Helping others understand the gospel is not the same thing as drinking presently and deeply from the wellspring of grace for myself. In all honesty, I’m not really concerned about others being able to say, “He’s been with Jesus.” I want my own heart to know that I’ve been with you.
Who or what do I have in heaven but you, Jesus? You make heaven heavenly; it’s not about streets of gold, but your unabated presence. Being with you, I desire nothing else on earth, because absolutely nothing else satisfies my soul like you do. My flesh and my heart may fail, but you, Jesus, are the strength of my heart and my portion, my banquet, my inheritance, forever. It is good, and it is enough, for me to be near you, my sovereign Savior and my loving refuge. So very Amen I pray, in your holy and compassionate name.