Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hard Stuff (Continued)

In my last post, I discussed hard stuff, how the most rewarding things are almost always the hardest things to achieve, and how God had really taught that to me over the last several weeks. Little did I know the lesson was not over at that point.

Our church called our new pastor this Sunday, and I'm very excited, because I believe he's about to put us on the path to growth and freshness and revival. But quite frankly, the vote wasn't by nearly the margin I would have hoped. What we learned Sunday is that despite our hard work over the last several months, we and our new pastor, still have work to do. But why should we have expected any different?

We studied the 8th chapter of Romans in Sunday School this week, and I meditated on it all Sunday afternoon, as we waited on our candidate to pray about and decide whether he would accept the call. I especially meditated on verse 18, where Paul writes, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (ESV) After that, Paul goes on to expound on how all of creation is corrupted by sin right now, but that redemption is coming one day, and it will be worth all of the trouble we had to deal with along the way. The joys of eternal life will far outweight the difficulties on the path to eternal life.

Isn't that how all of life is? The really good things are always the hardest things. The things that bring us the greatest joy are the most difficult things to achieve. Marriage brings great joy, but it also brings great difficulty. Raising children is one of the most joyful things we can do, but it's also one of the hardest. Whether it's finishing your education, or completing an important job, or making a big sale, the joy is often made better by the struggle it takes to make it happen. I know that is not the explicit point of Romans 8, but I think it's a good reminder that the best things, the most worthwhile things, are often the hardest things. If that's the case with the most joyful thing we can experience, eternal life with Jesus, why wouldn't it be the case with all of the other good things?

I'm convinced that having our new pastor is going to be one of those things that will bring us great joy. I believe that our church is going to see it's best days, and in five years, we're going to look back and say, "All that trouble is not worth comparing to the present joy we're experiencing." So I'm ready for an exciting, joyful, God-exalting, really, really, hard journey.

No comments: