Difficult by JW Kaiser
Surfing is difficult on many levels. I’m not talking about standing up on a foam board on a wave someone pushed you into. I’m talking about the kind of surfing that causes us to abandon reason and devote most of our thoughts, time and money to riding waves. That kind of surfing is hard. For the sake of less crowded lineups, let’s agree that it’s a good thing most people think surfing is difficult and choose not to do it.
Similarly, writer GK Chesterton has a thought about why more people do not choose to follow Christ. He writes, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and not tried”. In other words, most people approach faith in Christ like someone standing on the beach watching surfers. They think, “that looks fun but too difficult for me”, so they just stay on the beach. Many may dip a toe in the water of true devotion to Jesus and decide, “It is just too difficult. I’ll go back to living life on my own terms.”
Once, Jesus asked his friend Peter to try to catch some fish after he had just come in having caught nothing (Luke 5:1-11). I’m sure it was difficult for Peter to see this as a reasonable request. He not only caught some fish but “so many fish that their boats began to sink.” Experiencing this miracle, Peter and the others decided to “leave everything and follow him” and this decision was difficult. Even if you aren’t killed for your faith (like Peter), the difficulties of living life counter to your own desires, culture and at times even reasonable logic, in submission to a God would make many give up the effort. So surfing is hard. Did you quit and decide to take up another hobby that would take less commitment? Or did you just keep paddling out because of a love for the ocean and riding waves? Following Jesus will require you to trust in HIS love for YOU. It will require you to “push into deep waters…” so that you can experience his blessings. Ultimately, following Jesus will require you to give up much more than your love of surfing ever will. Jesus wants all of you.