From this past Sunday’s readings:
“But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD…” (Zeph 3:12)
“Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing….” (1 Cor 1:27-28)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…..” (Matthew 5:3-6)
The humble, the lowly, the foolish, the weak…..the lowly (again) and the despised; the poor in spirit, those in mourning, the meek, the hungry and thirsty….those who count for nothing….
These are the Lord’s people. But why?
It must be this way. For the Lord calls us to come near and be close and listen, and learn from Him, and be formed and shaped by Him. And there is no way to be formed, shaped, molded in His image, without this road.
The blacksmith cannot forge without the fire and the hammer.
And our Lord showed us Himself: There is no crown without the Cross.
He wishes no one is left behind. And the long road to Him is uniquely different: no two roads are the same. Your own road is especially made for you, with your own perfection waiting at the end.
But as we walk the road, after we ‘meet’ Him at the beginning, as we ‘learn’ of Him in the early going, after we ‘love’ Him and ‘accept’ Him as our steps grow numerous, then something else happens: the final invitation, to trust.
And know this: in the enduring of your trials, you are not proving to the Lord that you trust Him, but He is proving to you that He is worthy of your trust. That He will not fail you. That, no matter the outcome of your life, that every moment you remain close to Him in your trials builds your castle in His Kingdom.
So….it must be this way. It must be the hard road. To get to Him, there is no other way.