CS Lewis says somewhere that many people think that becoming a Christian is rather like inviting God to come into their little one-bedroom apartment that needs a lot of tidying up. They are under the impression that when God moves in with them, He will help with the dishes and vacuum behind the couch and so forth. And that’s why when he walks in and swings His sledgehammer into one of the walls, we recoil in horror. He isn’t tidying up at all. He’s just making a huge mess. How is this an improvement? Things don’t seem to be getting better. How can this be love, we ask? And when He carries on merrily through the house, chucking appliances out windows and giving instructions for wrecking balls to take out the living room, we get the distinct feeling that He’s decided to destroy us, to completely annihilate us. But this is only half true. As a matter of fact, He has come to kill us, to destroy us. But He intends to break our tiny shack of a house down so that He can build an unimaginably stunning and glorious mansion in its place. And He knows that you’ll never be able to get the mansion if you keep clinging to that shabby little apartment. He hasn’t come to give your mediocre life a little dusting. He’s come into your life to change everything, to remake everything, to make you into someone far different and yet far better.
And so when things are difficult, when we are disappointed, when it feels like God is taking things away that we love, when it feels like He isn’t loving us, it is frequently just the opposite. It is frequently in those moments that God is actually most loving us. He has something far better in store for us. He has a glory for us that will only fit us if we are dramatically changed. So during this season, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame and has now sat down at the right hand of the Father. Run with endurance. Keep running even when it feels like you’re going to die. Keep trusting your Father that He knows what He’s doing. You know you can trust Him because He sent His beloved Son first. We know that glory awaits, that resurrection awaits because Jesus is risen from the dead, so we can trust Him.