My daughter is a wanderer. She sings, draws, paints and is a gifted photographer. She practically lives out of her car, much like a gypsy. She hops fences. If the best angle for the photo she wants to take is on the other side of the fence, there is no question where she is going. She’s a bit of a risk taker. I’m more of a rule follower.
It takes all kinds to run the world. To raise children. To teach. To be a friend. To lead. Don’t get hung up on whether you are more of a wanderer or a rule follower. Embrace who you are, who God made you to be. You may be a little bit of both. I think Jesus was.
A Fence With Purpose
When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t always follow the rules. He was a bit of a fence jumper, but, only if it had purpose. Only if it was at the direction of His Father. Only if it would ultimately point others to their need of God.
In Jesus’ day, the Sabbath (day of rest), was honored very differently than many of us do today. There were ceremonial laws in place to be kept and the church leaders made it their business to watch and see who might break these. One of which, was not to do any work.
But what is the definition of work? In those days, it was argued that work could be picking up your child, putting in your false teeth, lifting a large cup of water to your mouth.
Helping others out in a time of need…that was also considered work.
I imagine that those rules created quite an obstacle for someone with a big heart…a moral dilemma…a barrier…a wall…a stumbling block…a fence.
But Jesus jumped the fence.
There are several accounts in the New Testament that tell us that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. He healed in spite of the rules. He healed knowing full well that the religious leaders would see. He knew the risks. He healed because he is compassionate. He healed because it was the right thing to do.
10 “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”
Jesus Went Against the Grain
Where am I going with this? Jesus broke the rules because He knew the big picture. He knew that when He went against the grain, the man made grain, the reward far outweighed the risks. It was more important for Him to follow his Father’s directions than to worry about what others may think.
Healing on the Sabbath is just one example of Jesus doing things His own way.
But for today…
Do you have your eye on a fence?
Is there something in your life that you are contemplating right now? I’m not talking about breaking the laws of your local government, I’m speaking of taking a risk on something that is burning inside of you.
Is it something that is out of the “norm” for your family and friends? Are you afraid that people will “talk” or be critical of what you’re doing? That you’ll be laughed at. Are you afraid you’ll fail?
Maybe it’s a God given calling that you’ve pushed aside. Perhaps it’s a different job or hobby or the pursuit of a relationship with someone who is usually overlooked. Maybe it’s taking an unpopular stance in your parenting, or committing yourself to that volunteer position you’ve had your eye on at church or in your community.
Maybe you have a relationship with Christ, but you haven’t told anyone yet. You’re stuck. You’re on the fence. You’re a straddler. You’re allowing your fear of failure or your fear of what others may think of you to keep you where you are.
Perhaps you’re putting off to tomorrow what you need to do today. I’ve been guilty of this. I’ve got my eye on a few fences myself right now.
Do you want to know the man made consequence of Jesus healing on the Sabbath? The church leaders began plotting his death when they witnessed his work. His murder. I don’t know what your fence looks like, but I doubt that it will cost you your life to jump it.
Take time and pray about that fence. Make sure that the Lord is summoning you towards it before you go. You should know that you know that it is a call to climb that will bring your relationship with Christ a little deeper, make it a little sweeter, and bring glory to Him…before you go.
You may get a few splinters. You may exercise some muscles you haven’t in a while. You may get tired. You may get talked about. You may lose some friends. But God will give you the strength you need to get over it. Your wounds will heal. You’ll become stronger. You’ll make new friends.
You’ll never know what’s waiting on the other side unless you move.
So…lace up your boots.
Pull back your hair.
Block out all the haters.