When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?" But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, "Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father."
Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil." He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him. John 6:60-71
It has been a season of ups and downs of stops and starts, with a few breakdowns mixed in for good measure. It can be easy to want to run away and hide, curl up in a ball,basically finding someway to avoid any more trouble or challenges. But life is full of blessings and challenges and if we hide away or run, we miss the blessings that are so often hidden among the dark clouds.
The disciples are hearing and living the challenges of following Jesus. Some grumbled and complained and some turned back. Yes, they missed the challenges and the pain that was to come, but they also missed the miracles and the splendid joy of walking with God. To walk the road of God incarnate means to encounter the rough streets and pains the world dishes out, trusting that there is more than calamity, more than a cross even, in the days to come.
Today I ask God to help me cease complaining and embrace the many gifts and blessings before me. May we who follow the living God, find time to notice and rejoice in all the blessings we have before us today.