Do you ever feel that following God is too demanding? More than you thought it could be or should be? Shouldn't life following God be sweet?
It's hard to explain to a looker on the maxim "by the grace of God go I." If life is so hard, why not chose an easier route? It is yours for the choosing. But we each have our own path God has called us to walk, and we recognize the light on our path and know there really is no other option than to follow. It's like a magnet drawing us on.
But what makes it so hard? Why does following Jesus have to be so hard? Maybe it's because we care too much what happens to us. We want to be seen in a certain way, we want certain creature comforts to make us feel important, we want general admiration. We want to relax, take it easy, and really just have no worries but what pleases us. Too much responsibility really cramps our style! All of this leads to the conclusion that we still think we know what will make us happy and don't live the Faith of a true child that lives happily in His Father's house. If we do, we can thank the people who have shown us how, who have made it easy, and thank God for that mega grace.
Don't get me wrong. There are noble parts in our soul, or we wouldn't be following the path. And these noble parts keep us trudging, thank God! And there are great and unexpected joys as well, joys that we wouldn't have otherwise known even existed if we didn't follow the path God set for us. But the crosses are entwined along the road and are just as much a part of our reality.
Let's pause to reflect upon them, because that is our gripe this morning. "Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few(!)"
Our crosses carry out an inner purification that slowly set us free, inch by inch on that journey. And set others at a quicker pace if we bear some of our load for them, or even bear their load for a bit. And then we can all start to smile more as we see into the heart and true, spiritual successes of our friends, knowing we are getting on in the journey, peering into the water jug inside of us that is being cleansed from murky water and so, capable of holding more and more of the Living Water.
We are friends with God. Let's not forget it for a moment. And God didn't just skate by in life. So "carry" on, and live more freely and fully in His house.