“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” – Revelation 22:1
Imagine you are in a tiny boat on a long and flowing river. You’re going upstream against the current. You paddle and move up the river pretty good for a while. However, if you stop paddling, the river tries to pull you back where you came from. Remember also that there are some bad things that are back where you came from and that very good things are waiting for you where you are going.
That story explains every day of the Christian life. We are in a place of pain and lostness, so we make a choice and get into the boat with Jesus. What we are leaving pales in comparison to what we find out waits ahead of us. But the decision to hop into the boat isn’t the end of the problems, it’s only the beginning.
Some people think that when you give your life over to Jesus, everything is going to be wonderful, be easy, and make sense. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s face it, life on this earth wasn’t easy for Jesus. He was born in a stable and grew up a carpenter like His adopted daddy, and that was in the days where they didn’t have a Chevy Silverado to haul lumber. We don’t think of it, but Jesus had grow up to be physically tough to endure the kind of life He grew up with here on earth. He was schooled mentally in the scriptures and He was schooled physically through good old fashioned back breaking hard work.
Then, midlife, Jesus changed job roles in a manner of speaking and started His preaching career. His time had come, but that wasn’t all wine and roses either. One measure of Jesus’ preaching success was how fast the religious leaders of the time wanted Him dead. Jesus finally endured the pain and suffering of the cross so that we could have our sins taken away and be allowed into Heaven. Jesus paid the cost for us. It’s called grace. It’s a free gift to us only because Jesus paid every penny of it through His blood.
That was how our Lord went through life and we shouldn’t expect everything in this world to be kind and easy for us either. There will be easy times and there will be hard times. And if you have been blessed not to have suffered in this world, I say to you, “stay tuned.” A servant is not greater than the master. Jesus went through trials and so will we. The key is that Jesus persevered and made it through those trials. He kept paddling up that same stream we are on called the river of life.
What I’m saying is to keep moving forward. Keep paddling for your life. Our goal and ultimate desire should be Heaven. Anything less than eternal life is eternal death. In the end, forever, you and I will be in Heaven or Hell, period. There’s no getting around that truth. This world drags people into mediocrity, and if you aren’t going forward in life, you’re going backward.
Just as Saint Paul said, we are to keep pressing on, moving towards the prize of the high calling of God through Christ Jesus. Keep paddling up the river of life. Yes, it is going to be tough at times, but I promise that the destination is worth it. In fact, it’s absolutely Heavenly.
God’s blessings to you.