By Staci Stallings
Have you ever had a dream that was so close you could nearly reach out and touch it? And yet every time you put your hand out, it turns out to be a mirage. You work and work. You put your all into making the dream come to fruition, but when you get to the place where you think you want to be, all you find is more work to do.
I see it with the two college students who work for me and are always hanging out at my house. It seems like they work and work, and yet graduation feels no closer. I see it in my carpenter husband. He stresses out when a job is finishing up because “what are we going to do next?” But he also stresses out when the job is going because “how are we going to get this all done?”
Now I see it in my own life. I set up meetings to talk with people about my books. The meetings always go well—some even go really well. But then, the sales don’t come through like I thought they would (read: hoped they would). It’s not that God’s not on my side. I know for a fact He is because I’ve seen His hand at work in too many areas of my life to doubt it. Yet I’m still left wondering, why does it have to be this hard?
In thinking about this phenomenon, I suddenly realized that this very feeling is encapsulated in the scene at Gethsemane. Christ is kneeling, praying, and He says, “Father, if it’s possible, let this cup pass Me by…” What He’s really saying is, “God, listen, please, there’s got to be an easier way.” He knows what is coming. He knows to the bottom of His soul this is not going to be fun. In fact, I think He’s not even totally sure He can pull it off.
Think about it. He's been asked, nae, sent, to save the whole world. That's not exactly a miniscule assignment. On top of that, He knows that in order to accomplish this, He will have to suffer and die—on a cross, beaten bloody, and humiliated. That's not exactly the most comforting thought in the world.
And so, He had to ask God one more time if this plan was really necessary. Apparently the answer was, "Yes, it's necessary." In my mind I can see Jesus say, "Well, okay then." He stands up and walks forward into His future.
Here's the thing though, while we're in "hard," it's tempting to give up. It's tempting to say, "This isn't worth it" and walk away from God's ultimate dream for us. But if we do… if we walk away because it's too hard… we will miss the glorious resurrection day. We will miss that day on which God takes our dream, molds it into His vision and releases it to the world in a burst of golden light.
Sure, it could be easier, but then the triumph of our Easter Sunday wouldn't be met with such rejoicing. And who knows, if we didn't go through our Good Friday, Easter might never come at all.
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