“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it” Mark 8:34-35
Take a minute and think about what life would be like without internet, smartphones, and Starbucks. No instant answers to where the closest gas station is, how much sugar to put in a gallon of tea, or the answer to that homework question you’ve been stuck on for hours. No instant communication, social media to keep you “in the know,” and no games to continuously keep you occupied. No caramel ice coffees with extra caramel drizzle inside, no double chocolaty chip frappuccino’s, and no delicious lemon loaf.
The convenience of being allowed all of these items is such a wonderful thing. It’s a true blessing from God, but like all blessings, they are easily taken advantage of.
God doesn’t call us to convenience, he didn’t say follow him and it will be convenient. It states, “He must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
We are to give God the control and let him move and lead us in our lives through every victory and trial. No, it’s not easy to follow God. He may tell you to take a different path than you want to take, to pick up your bags and move to a place you’ve never been, to breakup with the person you’re in a relationship with, or to give up that material item that distracts you from your relationship with him.
Doing all of these things is far from being convenient and sometimes we may even see it as impossible. However, the return God gives is far greater than convenience.
The story of Zacchaeus explains that Zacchaeus was short and in order to see Jesus he had to climb up in a tree. Easily he could have decided to not climb the tree at all or to push it off and do it another day, but he climbed up. Jesus saw him, approached him, and asked him to come down from the tree and allow for him to stay in his house that day.
Jesus interrupted his plans, asked him to come down from the tree that he had worked hard to climb up in, yet Zacchaues was very open to allowing the Lord to change up his plans. Luke 19 continues on and shows us that Zacchaues received salvation by allowing the Lord into his home.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16)
In many recent conversations with my parents I have realized that convenience has become the expected “norm” and anything inconvenient tends to result in a negative attitude. However, if I sit back and realize how much they are constantly giving up to provide for our family I should be forever grateful for the few inconveniences that I do have to face.
This is the same with God. He gives us more than we could ever thank him for, but yet when we are faced with one trial we tend to quickly give up on him.
My challenge to you would be to be like Zacchaeus. Put up the effort, climb the tree, and let God wreck your plans any time. Turn inconvenience into life lessons and convenience into times filled with immense amounts of grace and love no matter how tough it may be.