Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Am With You

By Melanie Rigney

… I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord. I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent. (Jeremiah 15:20-21)

Rescue me from my enemies, O my God; from my adversaries defend me. (Psalms 59:1)

Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” (Matthew 13:44-46)

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(Closing lines of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost)

It isn’t easy to be a Christian. It’s not easy for those who recently left Iraq. It’s not easy for those in North Korea. And it’s not always easy in the United States today. Enemies are always there, whether they come in the form of people with weapons or in the form of temptations that challenge our weak spots such as our vanity or pride.

Sometimes, we get bogged down in the challenges and the persecutions. We wonder why God lets all this happen and why we have to slog through it alone. But we forget that we are never alone, in good times and bad. The presence of Christ makes the horrors a little less horrible, and the joys a little more joyful. We know what waits at the end of the trail.

It isn’t easy to be a Christian. It never has been. But little worthwhile is. We’ve been handed, to quote from Matthew, “a pearl of great price.” All we had to pay for it was devotion, and the sincere effort to love the Lord, our neighbors, and ourselves. It’s a steal of a deal.

Thank God today in your prayer time. Don’t ask for a single thing.

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