The longer I walk with Jesus, the more aware I am of my fears, and how constant my thoughts are turned toward my own needs, wants, and desires. We live in a instant society with millions of momentary pleasures accessible through a few touches on our smartphones, tablets, and computers. Christianity, however, is a marathon of joyful obedience in response to all that God is for us in Christ. I stumbled upon these words this morning and they were just what I needed to hear as I run the race marked out for me today.
Every day I put my hope on the line. I don’t know one thing about the future. I don’t know what the next hour will hold. There may be sickness, accident, personal or world catastrophe. Before this day is over I may have to deal with death, pain, loss, rejection. I don’t know what the future holds for me, for those I love, for my nation, for this world. Still, despite my ignorance and surrounded by tinny optimists and cowardly pessimists, I say that God will accomplish his will, and I cheerfully persist in living in the hope that nothing will separate me from Christ’s love.
Every day I put love on the line. There is nothing I am less good at than love. I am far better in competition than in love. I am far better at responding to my instincts and ambitions to get ahead and make my mark than I am at figuring out how to love another. I am schooled and trained in acquisitive skills, in getting my own way. And yet I decide, every day, to set aside what I can do best and attempt what I do very clumsily–open myself to the frustrations and failures of loving, daring to believe that failing in love is better than succeeding in pride.
Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Let’s persist in putting everything on the line; after all, God is on our side.