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Into the mountains of life

Why would God do this to me? Isn’t my life difficult enough living with a chronic disease with its pain and suffering?

Questions like these filled my grief-stricken heart after my son died. Questions birthed from anger, alarm, and anxiety.

In time, other questions quietly emerged: Why do I follow Jesus? Is He merely an insurance policy? A way to live the good life if I do the right thing?

Remember when Jesus taught the Beatitudes? Just before, Matthew 5:1 tells us that Jesus saw the multitudes and went up a mountain to teach them. Chapter 4 had concluded with a picture of a popular Jesus. Crowds pushed, and many thronged him, enamored by what they saw. Crippled legs made whole, tormented minds cleansed, and ruined relationships restored. It must have been exhilarating to watch.

We don’t know Jesus’ intentions in going up the mountain. (Commentaries on this passage say it could have been a hill or a rise in the ground.) Was Jesus separating His true followers from the curious? How many turned back when they thought the way was getting too difficult? Or were too tired to follow and they had things to do? Or when they thought the ‘show’ was over and they lost interest?

Did some turn away?

This month I memorized and studied the Beatitudes. I challenged you to do the same. Did you get it memorized? If not through verse 12, did you memorize part of Christ’s counter-cultural lessons? How did this scripture impact your life?

Since my son’s death over seven years ago, I’ve seriously considered why I follow Jesus. I’ve wrestled with my faith. But I always come back to the thought that I want to follow Him because He is good, and kind, and true. There is no one else I would rather follow up the ‘mountains’ of life.

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