What about below the belt? What’s your secret of getting back on the horse when you fall off and get kicked in the face?
I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ parables that took their form to sink in only with those who had “ears to hear”, namely his disciples, although even they didn’t get it much of the time. So my question is what do we take away from his teachings that we know can’t be followed literally? Ex. Plucking your eye out or cutting your hand off when it causes you to sin. Was he just stressing the importance of self care, the opposite of which can leave us astray?
Surely, when the people heard these things, like you must “eat my flesh and drink my blood”, they must have felt punched in the mouth. ‘He’s a healer, magician, def a teacher, but then how to we take these difficult teachings?’ Is He still our Lord and master when He seems like He’s setting us up to be torn down?
My only answer is He was trying to teach the reality and depth of destruction Hell holds for those who seek their own will instead of His. By laying down a hierarchy with Hell at the top of the worst, He must have meant yes, there’s a cost to be counted in being His disciple, but the cost is nothing compared to losing your soul.
George MacDonald said in a poem, “it won’t seem difficult at all to follow your guide when you look down from heaven”. This quote has kept me going recently. Thing is, the hope of glory is our strength, but when we don’t cultivate that hope, we begin to wonder if it’s worth it when we’re in the throes of hardship.
How many times have I thought, ‘I may as well go to hell bc I can’t get past this awful addiction.’ We think in the now, thinking future planning too difficult when the now feels too real.
Another thought I have is, “God, if you were cruel enough to create Hell, and to send more of your children there than to Heaven, then I might as well go to Hell bc I’m not sure I want to be with a deity who does that.” The thing I keep coming back to is my old pastor, Randy teaching us about the Lord’s supper: “If you’re not in Christ, this meal is not for you. If you’re blatantly living your own life in disregard of His calling, this meal is not for you. But if you fall and get back up, fall and get back up, fall and get back up, this meal is for you.”
All we can do is keep fighting often times, especially when the only progress we see is coming back to getting back up. Proverbs says, “the righteous man falls 7 times in a day. But he gets back up”.
The devil has a plan too, until we submit to God and resist him. Then he is the one with the punch in the mouth.