Friday, January 6, 2012

The Christian Life Is a Journey

Broken any New Year's resolutions yet?

By my purely unscientific estimate, the average life of a resolution--at any time of year--is approximately two weeks. Changing for the better always seems like a good idea until we remember there's work involved. In fact, there's fair reason to theorize that the famous Law of Attraction has a corollary called the Law of Initial Repulsion: he who makes up his mind to change for the better can count on being hit hard with a period of trials taunting him to prove he's serious about it. The world, the flesh, and the devil, who pretty much left us alone while we coasted on our old sinful habits, are suddenly fighting us with every temptation and frustration at their disposal.

Why doesn't God stop them? we want to scream. Maybe because He loves us too much to leave us to the spiritual flabbiness that would result from taking the easy way. Much as human nature wishes otherwise, you can't run a marathon without training, learn the piano without practicing scales, or win a war without struggling to gain ground. And you can't walk a real Christian walk--which, never forget, goes in an upward direction--without climbing some tough sections of trail.

If you're in the middle of a tough section right now, feeling that this is a terrible reward for trying to walk God's way and no incentive for continuing, don't quit just yet. Consider the principle epitomized in the famous piece "Footprints in the Sand": When times are hard, God walks with us. When times are really hard, He carries us.

He is bringing us to a destination that is more than worth the hardest trip.

The Christian life is a journey, and the path is steep and slow;
While we may glimpse the destination, a thick fog clouds our way below.
We who long for a mileage marker, for a map that shows every turn,
Rarely grasp the Lord's deeper purpose: as we struggle, so thus we learn.

The Christian life is a journey, and the road is rarely clear:
Let us, therefore, walk in assurance that our Father still holds us dear.
Let us look to the things eternal and the One Who walks by our side;
For we need not fear losing the pathway, for its Builder will be our Guide!

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