Quo Vadis (Where Are you Going)? – Jess Cohen

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Photo:Again We Say Rejoice Photography

Author: Jess Cohen

Every Monday I share a devotion, article, or video from one of my favorite authors, speakers, or ministers. Jess Cohen has been one of my best friends since I moved to Gwinnett County. I love her heart for hospitality, young people, and Jesus! I know you will be encouraged by her writing! 

Matthew 14:22-33

Quo vadis? Where are you going?

At the beginning of the year one of the pastors of my church, Rob Kaple, preached a message that began with this question – are we asking God where he is going? Do we have eyes to see and ears to hear the directions Jesus is walking and the words He might be uniquely speaking to each one of us. It’s a fairly simple question, for sure, but also one that has the potential to flip your world upside down in the best of ways if you ask me.

This time last year I felt a strong nudge from God to quit my job. I was in a fairly toxic environment but I also didn’t trust God enough to believe that He would still provide what I needed if I did actually quit my job. I was scared of the unknown even though the current situation was far from good. I tried to convince myself that the wise and rational thing to do was to stay, after all I had responsibilities and bills. By May I finally realized that my doubts and fears were just that, doubts and fears, NOT reasons to stay in a job when God was clearly moving elsewhere. I left my job and accepted another temporary one completely outside my career field. It was the sweetest season of rest and healing. It was everything I didn’t know I needed and beyond what I could have asked the Lord to give me. Naturally after six months in this temporary job I had to ask the question again – where are you going, God? – and I found the courage to leave that job to start a new one because I saw the Lord moving somewhere else.

I didn’t realize that for me 2016 was the year of asking God “Quo Vadis?” and learning to open my ears to what He was speaking to me. In this past season of lots of changes and life transitions, I’ve found myself reading and re-reading the passage in Matthew 14:22-33 where the disciples find themselves in the midst of a storm, struggling in the storm and terrified that Jesus is a ghost. I wonder how often in the midst of churned up seas I miss seeing Jesus walking towards me? And how often I miss the chance to be bold like Peter and climb out of the boat to be walking on the water with Jesus? Or how often I forget that Jesus presence brings a peace and calm to my life that nothing else can? My friend and pastor, Rob, said it this way, “Every now and then, Jesus will walk out on the water looking like a ghost. You’ll be tempted to be afraid, or you’ll have all sorts of reasons why that’s not actually Jesus. However, I’ve discovered that each new revelation is also an invitation. An invitation to step out on those waters. An invitation to follow Jesus into that new context. That new situation. To those new people. To that new place.” I hope that you, too, will look for Jesus even in the places you don’t expect to find Him and ask Him, “Quo vadis?” And then choose to take courage and follow Him where he is going.

Shameless plug: Rob Kaple wrote a book that’s been a HUGE source of encouragement to me and might be for you, too! Check it out: Wind Words by Rob Kaple


Jessica Cohen is honored to be a guest contributor for The Well! She is an epidemiologist (fancy word for someone who studies how diseases move among and affect groups of people) by training and aspiring chef in her free time. She also volunteers with Gwinnett Central Young Life leading high school students and mentors young women through her church, Grace Midtown.

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