Zero motivation. Tired. Grumpy.
That was how I walked into my exercise class the other day. It’s utterly ridiculous that we spend money to have someone make us work out. Think about it. Let me pay money to have someone tell me to do something that feels unpleasant. Oh, the first world problems we live with! I’m sure my whining was familiar to the sweet girl at the desk. She encouraged me, “You did the hard part. You showed up.”
The thing is, I really struggle to believe that simply showing up is enough. For example, if I show up anywhere – to a friend’s house, to work, to school, to church – with a grumpy, tired attitude, it isn’t enough. I can easily be a total joy sucker to someone else’s relatively pleasant day. Attitude matters.
However, as I was recently in the book of John, I realized that there’s actually some truth to this “just show up” thing. Over the course of two familiar passages, I noticed something unfamiliar.
Do you remember Nicodemus? He’s the Pharisee who comes at night to visit Jesus. He says to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2)
A few verses later, we find Jesus with the Samaritan women at the well. Jesus totally sets her up by asking her for water and then reading her mail by telling her that she’s been married seven times. This is when he pulls the God card to explain He’s the living water. But notice what she says when she leaves and tells others about her encounter with Jesus:
“Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”
Both Nicodemus and the woman at the well knew something was up. They knew something was unique about this man named Jesus, but in both scenarios, they weren’t convinced.
I had always remembered that Nicodemus was the one who asked Jesus what was necessary to be born again. Go back and look at John 3. He actually just acknowledged that Jesus must be of God. Jesus is the One who tells him and every generation that has followed that we must be born again. Nicodemus had to have the courage to show up, but Jesus took it from there.
The woman at the well explained what happened but was still asking if this could be the Christ. Her question was enough to cause others to go and check Him out and come to the correct conclusion.
Can I encourage you today? Sometimes just showing up is enough. Even just retelling what you don’t yet understand can be used by God to spark curiosity and faith in a world that’s hungry for truth.
Show up. It matters. God even uses our doubts, curiosity, and questions for His good. Pretty amazing, if you ask me!