I prefer “easy”. I prefer “peaceful.” If I had my way, life would be easy and peaceful. I prefer:
No brokenness, hurt, sorry, pain or loss.
Laughter over tears.
Smiles over frowns.
Sunshine over rain.
Unity over division.
Love over hatred.
Friendship over betrayal.
Life over death.
It doesn’t take much to think that I am not alone in this. This is what we all yearn for. But the truth is, that life is a mixture of all those things. So no matter what one prefers life is going to hand us a mix bag. There will be good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. Good months…well, you get the point. Peter, the Apostle, who was no stranger to life’s mixed bag, wrote this:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12).
Most of what we encounter is beyond our control. So the onus isn’t on God to change our circumstances or to prevent life from happening. Instead, the onus is on us, how we will respond to every situation and every challenge. As Jesus was called to the cross, we are called to carry our cross. And crosses are painful, hard and messy. While Jesus was involved in life and ministry, He was always heading toward Jerusalem. And as His ministry took on many different forms and brought Him to many different areas, he was always heading toward Jerusalem. What did Jerusalem hold for Him? Pain, suffering and death. And…
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
He was determined to go to Jerusalem. He embraced it as part of the journey, as part of the call of His life. His face was set towards Jerusalem. It wasn’t turned to the right or left. He was determined to keep His face steadfast on the call before Him. He would draw His strength form His Father and rely on the power, comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
As the days of Lent begin, let us take all that life has to offer. The Good, bad and ugly of it. And let us keep moving toward Jerusalem…toward the eventual challenge of a cross and the sure hope of resurrection.
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?