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Long Roads and Scaling Mountains
by Mary Kate Hipp
"When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"
Has the Lord ever called you to something that was difficult to accept? Has He ever called you to do something out of your comfort zone? I can say 'absolutely.' Time and time again the Lord has called me to do things that I could not accept and has taught me many lessons that I could not accept. Sometimes the Lord speaks to us and we know exactly what He means, we just cannot accept it. Sometimes our fickle hearts get in the way.
The same is happening to those in the crowd who could not accept Jesus' teaching. His teaching was 'hard' to accept.
I am learning that the best things in life, especially from the Lord are sometimes the hardest to acquire and to achieve. Following Jesus and accepting His teaching and His call on your life is not always an easy task. Jesus did not make following Him easy for the disciples. He made sure those seeking Him knew the stakes involved. Jesus calls us to follow a road that sometimes may be tough, but the road leads to His loving kindness, His grace and mercy, and the neverending goodness of God.
Let me illustrate this point further. I recently hiked the mountains in Ein Gedi, Israel. I had never gone hiking prior, yet I decided to hike a trail literally labeled "difficult". I'm stubborn and "went with it" despite the intensity. The road was steep for miles and miles, I had to scale the side of the mountain on multiple occasions, I was running out of water, it was hard. But I pushed through and at the end of the road, I saw a glimpse of the beauty and loving-kindness of the Lord in His creation. It was like the Lord was taunting me with this passage: the road to accepting Jesus' teaching and calling may not be easy, but the road leads to abundant mercy and grace. I only had to endure the momentary 'hard' road.
Will you accept the Lord's teachings? Will you accept the 'hard' things the Lord is calling you to even if it means scaling the side of a mountain?
Father, it is not always easy to accept Your calling on our lives or what You are teaching us, but we know Your ways are good. We rejoice in Your goodness, mercy, grace, abundant loving-kindness, and nearness to us. We thank You that at the end of these 'hard' roads, You are there. We pray that You would soften our hearts this week to accept what You call us to, to take the hard road, to devote ourselves to You. Amen.