I was struck again last night by a comparison of the average Christian life with Jesus’s own earthly life two centuries ago.
His sacrifice and passion (suffering) consisted in living a brief, infinitely important human life, and then dying young because the world couldn’t continue to bear His awesome presence.
Ours, on the other hand, seems to be something like the opposite: having to live long, unimportant earthly lives, because the world doesn’t care whether or not we live or die, because we’re too “small” to register on its radar.
As far as I know, the Lord has never granted one of His people’s requests to die early or quickly; a long, normal life is their cross to bear. At least two of them–Elijah and Jonah–are mentioned in Scripture as having asked, but were not taken.
This might sound pessimistic, and maybe it is. But I know that the Lord will glorify us one day, and recompense any troubles or sorrows we’ve had here, with joy and gladness.
But everyone is so disconnected right now. The differences between people–Christians and non-Christians–are becoming so extreme, dividing us spiritually and emotionally much more than we are usually divided physically.
I have neighbors I’ve never met–and living “out in the country” isn’t an excuse, because there really isn’t much distance or land between us.
I can go hours without sharing human words with my co-workers. Yes, the automatic, employees-getting-the-job-done talk is there, but at the end of the shift everyone is more than happy to punch out in a hurry and go their separate ways to live their separated lives.
In my own case, people seem glad to get away from me.
The pain is sometimes so great, I have to ask the Lord again why I’m here. What’s the point, what’s the purpose? Am I really required to keep staying here, alive, on this planet, at this time?
His replies are always kind, gentle, compassionate, understanding. And here I stay.