If we say we’re willing to follow Jesus, what do we mean? I believe there is only one valid reason for following Jesus: because he is worth it. And he is worth it because of who he is in all his love, his understanding, his compassion. Following him means doing so with no strings attached; it means not telling God, “I’ll do this if you come through with that.”
Either Jesus is worth hanging onto in hard times only because he is Jesus, or he is worth nothing. When life doesn’t make sense anymore, we can give up, or we can remember who Jesus really is and that, no matter how dark it gets, he is worth it all.
As you’ve undoubtedly experienced, we may not get an explanation as to why certain things happen—why the dark times are as dark and persistent as they are—but living our lives with certain things unresolved is what faith is all about. For years I drank deeply of the false belief that if only I had enough faith, everything would go my way. But that is simply not true, and so many people are caught and lives are wrecked in the wake of this teaching. “Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong?” we cry. Heaven cries back, “You’ve done everything wrong, but I love you anyway. Always have, always will.”
When have you been able to extend love to a family member or friend who had done something sinful or hurtful? Be specific about your thoughts and feelings, about your interaction with the person involved, and about how your love was received.