Die WITH ME
Can you remember going to the beach as a child standing in the surf? The waves keep breaking. You are knocked down by a wave only to be knocked down by the next. Each tumble in the surf is dismissed in anxiety over what’s coming next. We cannot take much of this before we retreat to the safety of dry land where we are out of the waves' reach. The response that works for a child at the beach cannot work for us as adults in our world. The waves find their way into our homes, our relationships, our thoughts. The harder we try, the more frustrated we become at our lack of ability to stand up against the power of the waves. So some stop trying. They just go with the flow and let the waves take them where they will and destroy what they will. Others keep trying until the life is beaten out of them and nothing is left. There is a better way. But you are not going to like the sound of it. Jesus describes that better way in Matt. 16:24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their crosses and follow me.” Translation – come die with me. You are probably focused on those words – come die. May I draw your attention to the other two words – with me. There is a power found in connection with Christ that can make us wave-riders. The thing that is meant to destroy us can empower us; can transform us. George MacDonald writes, “Christ died to save us, not from suffering, but from ourselves.” You cannot really know where all your hard work and effort will lead. You can probably guess where giving up will lead. But following Christ, casting your life’s hope upon Christ, has a sure destination. Dying with Christ leads to being raised with Christ. The waves have no answer for this approach. This is how we raise the bar on our discipleship.