I suppose it seems odd or maybe even inappropriate for me to write about suffering, discipline and endurance while on an extended beach vacation with my family. I can see your point. Yet, for me, vacation is not an escape from reality but rather a time for catching my breath and finding new vision for the battle that my family has been called to lead and serve. Times away, like this, give me perspective and strengthen my resolve.
Ok, so here’s what’s on my mind tonight…
When the word “endurance” is used in connection with our faith and service to God. We get uncomfortable. We don’t like to be pushed or required – it should be “at our speed and relaxed & enjoyable at all times.” Hmmm… we (including me) really don’t get it sometimes…
We appear confused, shocked and disappointed when our Christian life brings a little hardship, difficulty or pain. It’s not that we don’t like to talk about sacrifice and pain — we love to post and tweet about our new trendy diet or our fitness training. But our Christian service rarely merits such noble and frequent discussion. And, let’s not play the humble card here…
“Life is hard enough”, we want a brand of Christianity that is “fun, on-our-terms and celebrated.” And, it’s not hard to land in a place that will provide it.
Who told us it would be easy?
Not the Bible.
In fact, the Bible tells us and gives us examples, time after time after time, that being a Christian is going to cost us… everything. And you know what — why shouldn’t it?!
Jesus entered the world through the excruciating & humbling process of childbirth. I still can’t get my head around how my God could become so vulnerable and fragile – all so I could be strong. He then grows into a man with complete physical senses and allows himself to be beaten beyond recognition and ultimately killed. It hurt him in ways we could never comprehend. Yet…
He beat it. He rose. He reigns.
And, the fact remains:
- no cross, no crown
- no rules, no rights
- no pain, no purpose.