The Cost of the Cross

The safest place to be is the center of God’s will for your life.

Ever heard that line before? Sounds nice, and pretty. And when you are in a place when you wonder if following Jesus is even worth it, those words can even be comforting.

But the center of God’s will the safest? Is it worth it? Really worth it?

God, I want Jesus more than comfort.

Oops, dangerous prayer alert. That was something I prayed a couple weeks ago during worship at church right after someone I have known for about 15 years tearfully shared with me how they are coming to know Jesus.

Is it worth it? God, I want Jesus more than comfort.

I was completely serious when I prayed it too. But let me tell you, the journey that I have been on since that prayer is anything but comfortable. This week has brought on conversations with my husband that you don’t want to have with anyone, like ever, and left me wondering as I put one foot in front of the other if the cost of following where He leads is even worth it. Please, let me just have my white picket fence, husband, two kids, a dog and a cat, and let me live in my comfortable little life! (I have all of that but the kitty).

In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

I could list all of the reasons that following where He leads isn’t worth it, and I bet you could too. And the first 3 things on the top of that list would be hurt, pain, and risk. But there is one thing that outweighs anything that I could add to that list. Jesus. Seeing Jesus. Knowing Jesus. Loving Jesus.

I don’t need refreshment

At the beginning of the year, I was having coffee with a friend, and we were talking about the cost of following Jesus. She said in our conversation I don’t need refreshment, I need a resurrection. So, we prayed for it. We prayed that He would restore what was broken, and resurrect what was dead.

Over the summer I got a chance to see her again, and as I was driving to go to where she was there was a triple rainbow in the sky. It was the most perfectly formed rainbow that I have ever seen. I had to pull over and stare at it. It was beautiful, and it was a reflection of what I was about to see in my friend.

As I was talking to her I saw that God had done an incredible work in her life. His strength was upon her, and that day I saw resurrected. It was beautiful. I cried. I actually cried for like 3 hours, I just couldn’t stop.

Moments like this make it worth it. Moments like my friend tearfully telling me that they are getting to know who Jesus is makes it worth it.

God never promises that following Him would be easy, and although following Him is the best place for us to be, it is not the safest. He never promises it will be safe. Jesus says it will be hard, but He promises that He will overcome the world. There will be trouble, but He would never leave or forsake us. And just as He said He would suffer many things and be killed, He promised He would be raised. And. He. Was.

I bet if I were Thomas seeing Jesus for the first time after He was resurrected after doubting, I would have cried for days. Those tears would be because He was who He said He was. I would have cried because His love overcame the grave. And I would have cried because those truths are beautiful.

So, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me as his prisoner. Rather, join me in suffering for the Gospel, by the power of God.
2 Timothy 1:8

God, I want Jesus more than comfort. I want to be more concerned about who You are than the list of reasons I can make up to not follow where You lead. Help me to be strong and courageous in the path you have before me.  Help me to rest in You, instead of striving to do things in my own strength. And let me see that although following You isn’t always an easy road, that it is worth it because You are worthy. In Jesus name.  Amen.

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