We come here like immigrants, with nothing. We build and toil and strive and seek and gain and lose, then we leave this little earth, with nothing.
What’s the point of it all? Sorry to be so jaded, but what. is. the. point.
I see people try and give it their all and still, life throws incredible curveballs, and the people who seemed insulated like swaddled babies from the grief of betrayal and death are suddenly facedown on the ground. I ask myself, if they are not immune, who is? Am I?
No, I am not. I have seen my own carefully constructed house of cards fall around me almost humorously, so I know I am not immune. So I ask again, what is the point.
Sometimes I get jealous of people who are not professing Christians. Sure, I guess they have some code of ethics that guides them between right and wrong, and I won’t even get into where they think they obtained the very notion of good and evil, but beyond this self -inflicted morality, what is there?
They don’t have people breathing down their neck and asking them what their calling/ministry/spiritual gift/purpose/destiny/role is. They can just be, without the fear of disappointing their family or the church or God. And they even get to sleep on Sunday morning and make banana pancakes. Sometimes, if I’m being completely honest, being a person without faith seems less stressful. Sometimes, I see people who literally did everything right and followed God to the ends of the earth and they STILL were given a hellish trial to walk through. I see those people and I think, is this faith thing worth it?
And after pondering it extensively, my little 23 year old girl self has decided YES.
If the point is to amass accolades and accomplishments and climb a rickety ladder to heaven, building an empire that will one day turn to ash, then no, it is not worth it.
If the point is to do something with my life which looks good in social media but poor in real life, it is not worth it.
If I am attaining my holiness from my holiness, then it is not worth it.
If I am more concerned with what I can do for Jesus than with what He has already done for me, then it is not worth it.
I have let all of these be my reasons at various points and times, and I can tell you, they are not enough to keep you in a mysterious relationship with an invisible, triune God.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
I want to weep. It is not for the glory or for the hope that things will go well for us in this life. He never said it would be easy. We were never promised a pain free walk through this fleeting life.
But whatever was to my profit I consider a loss for the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. We are not guaranteed anything in this life, other than this gift of Jesus. We must adjust our focus. We are so selfish and we can only see about ten feet in front of us. We are so concerned for our safety and luxury and happiness and insulation and protection because God forbid anything bad happen to us, when we have been offered the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ and having the awesome privilege to share in his suffering.
I can barely explain or understand this myself. Is it worth it, you ask, to surrender your little life to the Author of rainbows and sunsets and flowers and mountains? Is it worth it, to give your plans to the one who put you together, one fleck of dust at a time? Is it worth it to offer your broken heart to a God who, unlike other gods, wants to come near you at your lowest most desolate point?
Is it worth it?
That this God I attempt to write about likes me, wants me, loves me, pursues me, is unconscionable. How can it be He wants to love me?
Suddenly, my life is small and my worries are smaller and He is big. So very very big. And I crawl into his arms and I am safe. Will trouble still befall me? It’s likely. Will storms arise over my calm horizon? Most definitely. But He is good.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!