Life gets hard when a person becomes a follower of Jesus. It becomes hard in a way that it wasn’t before. The default float down the river of impulsive desire is interrupted by a flood of transcendent information. And confessed longing.
Intuition might make it plain that living to anesthetize ourselves for decades then die is unsatisfactory. But the cure isn’t immediately apparent. Or is it? No it’s not. Not to frail creatures in a mortal tango with self-obsession and truth suppression. The center and the margins of life all clamor with the noise of our own questioned worth.
Those of us who run to Christ are those who enter training to suffer well. The most difficult part of this training is not external, but the suffering of the honest gaze inward. We endure to realize palpable reflection of his character in our being, we come alive in hope against a shriveling horizon of desperation in our backward glance. We hear a beckoning voice on the seashore say “drop that and follow me”, then find our affections ambushed to say “I will follow”.