Worth It

Luke 9:23 ...If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Clara (5) was born on her due date-September 20, 2005. This is a fact I don't easily forget. Probably because Scott and I had been scheduled to leave for Switzerland the very next day. Though we wanted more children, Clara happened along a bit ahead of the time frame we might have scheduled. I missed extravagant meals, exciting adventure and elegant chocolate but it was so worth it. Every day of her life, Clara has provided our entire family joy, delight and energy. She is better than the most decadent chocolate.

This morning I am reading Philippians 3. Paul opens this chapter with the rejection of the idea that anything a person does or is can in any way earn salvation. My greatest accomplishment completed on my most benevolent day is nothing compared to knowing Jesus. Paul writes, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." (Verse 10)
  • I want to know Christ - With certainty I can agree. I do want to know Christ more every day. I yearn to know Him more.
  • I want to know the power of his resurrection - This is another statement I find myself nodding my head to. Of course I desire the power of God in my life. It is His power that conquers sin, His power that transforms my character and His power that watches over and cares for my family.
  • I want the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings - Seriously, Paul? You want to share in the suffering of Jesus? I thought I was doing well by not complaining too much about the various trials and difficulties in my life.

To fellowship is to be united in purpose and passion. Jesus came to earth for one reason only - "to seek and save what was lost" (Luke 19:10). He suffered an unimaginably painful death to give each one of us a path to truly know God. He was tortured to bring every person the opportunity to live an abundant life. You only have to read His prayer in Gethsemane to know, He went to the cross with a level of reluctance, but you, my precious friend, were so worth it.

If I want to know Christ, I have to be united in His purpose and passion. I will never lay down my life for mankind. Only Jesus was sufficient for that task. I will, however, experience pain, trouble and difficulty throughout the days I live on earth. It is at those times, my heart is most in tune with God. We fellowship through suffering.

Jesus, You give passion and purpose to my life. I don't understand why You chose difficulty as the primary path to knowing You more. I do know that any trouble or trial You allow in my life is totally worth it if it means I will know You more intimately than I do today.

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