Excerpt from Miracle in The Middle by Charlotte Gambill
It was just an Ordinary day; the young men were preparing their boats to go fishing. They cleaned their nets and loaded their supplies on board before pushing out from the shores of Galilee. Only this day was not going to end in its usual manner because their routine was about to be interrupted by a life-changing invitation. Their predictable pace was going to be revolutionized because of the power of two words: “follow me” (Matthew 4:19). These words that Jesus spoke offered the fishermen the opportunity of a new beginning—one which held within it the possibility to change not only their lives but the lives of many others, including your life and mine. Those young men were going to become part of the group of twelve men that Jesus would use to change the course of history, and it all began with just two words.
“Follow me” was all Jesus said as he walked by the fishermen that day. It was all the information they had to help them decide if they were going to leave where they were for where He was heading. Jesus offered no further explanation of His expecta- tions. But on the basis of this brief encounter, the disciples would be choosing whether to leave family friends and their fishing business.
“Follow me” was asking for a shift of management; it was a step of faith to move from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Contrary to how it may have looked to those spectating that day, “Follow me” was not a random statement that Jesus casually threw out. Rather, these words were telling the disciples everything they would need to know about what this journey would require.
Jesus knew the type of characteristics his disciples needed. He knew what it would take to minister to crowds, navigate demands, and deal with the praise and the persecution. So when he walked by the disciples’ boat that day, the invitation was already written. The words were carefully selected—words that let them know the discipleship he was calling them into was a ministry not based on their qualifications or experience, but on their ability to follow.
As I have journeyed with Jesus over many years, I have come to realize that the place where our ability to follow is tested the most is often in “the middle.” The disciples would have to learn how to follow Jesus through highs and lows, good and bad, and from start to finish. We as Jesus’ disciples today also need to develop this same capacity to commit to improve our “follow” ability in every season we enter.