Over the past few months, I have been hit with a few realizations. Life goes on; people continually grow and change; you can experience moments of great hope and happi ness; and life can also come crashing down on you. You some times wish things wouldn’t turn out the way they have turned out, and then there are those moments which take your breath away. Through it all I’ve been thankful to know that the constants in life remain the same, and that God is still same, yesterday, and forever.

I’ve been encouraged by the words of Christ:

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any one would come after me, let him deny him self and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but who ever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 1

I’m in a journey, over these next few months, of learning the meaning of silence and quietness. I’m finally understand ing that to do great things for God, you need to have this iron-will to go the distance, expect unwarranted criticism, live with God’s purpose in mind, and finally trust that the life God has for you is always better than the life others expect of you.

God’s path some times include hungry lions in dens, or a blazing fiery furnaces, or an angry mob carrying you through the streets, or even death on a cross because of the God you worship. Everybody’s cross is different, but essentially remains ‘their cross’. Sometimes God’s desire is for us to walk through pain and suffering, just so His glory would be revealed in us. We do not trust Him just so He can come through for us and make our lives a paradise on earth, but rather we take up our cross and willingly die to our desires and dreams, and in doing so proclaim that He is God and that we follow hard after Him. For we have found true meaning in life. Our purpose is found in the one who first loved us. We live now completely for Him and Him alone.

Let come what may, I choose to serve, and trust, and believe, and hope, and pray, and live, completely and passionately for this God who gave me life. There is nothing greater and life has nothing better to offer me. I hold onto the Cross where Christ shed His blood for me; I live in the reality of  Christ living in me and the presence of God working out in me; and I hold fast to the hope of Christ and a better day in glory.

Matthew 16:24-26, ESV. This verse is pregnant with meaning, from the example of Christ that we follow, to hope we have in the face of hardship and persecution, to the overcoming life that is marked by perseverance and self-denial, to a Christly selflessness imbued upon us when we forsake all and make Him the first. There is a much deeper I can go, but I won’t because this post is more a reflective piece on where I’m at in life. ↩

Ashish Joy