“Following Jesus is hard, isn’t it, Dad? but it’s worth it.”
– 9 year old daughter.
I smiled and said, “Yes, honey, it is.” But I nearly had to turn my head to hide some tears, because of all things I hope my children one day would say, this has to be at or near the top. I immediately thought of telling he about how it is both hard and easy – but I held off for now. I had in mind the famous lines of C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:
“The Christian life is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work. I want YOU. I have not come to torment your natural self but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself; my own shall become yours.”
This wonderful exchange – his life for ours, our life for his – is the whole heart of being united to Christ! Do yourself a favor: go dig out a copy of Mere Christianity and skip to the fourth section “Beyond Personality: or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity.” Lewis does a brilliant, humble job of unpacking the dynamics of following this beautiful God who lives and loves as Father, Son, and Spirit.