Friday, October 22, 2021

The Hard Road

What if you can't come to Jesus?

What if you are too exhausted to take one more step, too scared to look up, too ashamed to open your eyes? What if there is just nothing else you can do to get yourself closer to Jesus and the mere thought of having to do one more thing is enough to make you collapse?

Simple, of course. You keep pushing through to Jesus anyway. 

This is what so many of us have been taught. This is what's been preached to us. We are supposed to have the faith of the bleeding woman, a faith that pushes us through the crowds when we are up against our very last hope. We're supposed to have the faith of Zacchaeus, a faith that climbs a tree when it's not satisfied with its view. We're supposed to have the faith of the Canaanite woman, a faith that crawls to Jesus on our knees and begs for a little bit of mercy. We are supposed to have a faith that takes us all the way to Him. 

And yet, the truth is for so many of us that sometimes? Sometimes, Jesus seems always just a little bit further away. Always just one more push, one more stretch, one more tree, one more grasp...always just a little further than the painfully long way we've already come. 

If we don't have the faith of the bleeding woman or the tax collector, then we are told that we're relegated to live the faith of the blind men or the paraplegic - a faith that must just wait for Jesus to pass by, cry out as often and as passionately as we can, and hope that He hears us and has mercy. 

That's why so many of us spend our lives of faith pushing past our breaking point, pushing past our tiredness, pushing past our complete exhaustion and always trying for that little bit more to get to Jesus...because we have worked so hard, put in so much time and faith, held onto so much hope just to get as close as we are right now. There's no way that we're going to give up and settle for the faith of the blind man. 

Not when we can see so clearly that Jesus is right there, if we'll just keep going. 

We make things so foolishly hard on ourselves. We really do. It amazes me sometimes how easy it is for me to get into the mindset of thinking something exactly like this. Of thinking that it's up to me to keep pushing through the hard stuff to get to the God who left eternity and was born in a manger to get to me. Read that again because this is exactly what we're saying - we're saying it is up to us, as persons of "faith," to do every bit of the hard work, beyond our human capabilities, to come all the way to a God who left heaven and came to earth to come all the way to us. 

Do you hear how foolish that sounds? Well, don't stop there. It gets even more foolish. 

It gets even more foolish when we realize why we do it. Sure, there is our hope and our faith that tells us that once we get there, Jesus will heal us. Jesus will give us what we're going after if we just don't give up before we get to it. And that seems decently noble, maybe. Faithful, perhaps. Righteous? Why not? 

But there's this other little thing that lies under all that, that has us thinking about something else, too. And less praiseworthy. What is it? I'll tell you tomorrow. 

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