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A line really stood out to me today as I read a little devotional book: “…the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (from Matt. 7:14).

When you feel like life is putting you through the wringer, there is something so reassuring about knowing that this journey towards life has been charted before and it wasn’t meant to be a walk in the park.

I have to be honest, since that is the nature of providing you an inside look at my journaling, so here it is: I have a hard time with “Christians.” So many people claim that title, yet so few live up to its depth of meaning. To be a Christ-follower is so much more than being a weekly pep rally on Sundays, listening to K-love during the week, and sharing your church’s branded marketing on social media. Without being connected to the Source of life, all of those other things are just an epi mimicking a heartbeat.

But this is culture where it’s easier to just medicate and resuscitate than to actually live.

The cost of true life is too great, the allure of a pretty convincing alternative is too popular.

I’m learning that being connected to this life Source is to be on the path that leads to life. It takes resolve and training, practice and toughing it out. Like an athlete works for her title, so am I working towards a goal both when I’m seen and when I’m not seen. I’m running full-on in the direction of life. This resolve has come at a cost–I’ve endured more than I thought I could–but the return has been even more than I could have imagined. Hope like that is something I can hang onto in these often-bleak days.

So I am continually challenging myself with the question, “is this life-giving?” I want to be purposeful and intentional in the way that I go about daily things as well as bigger commitments. I want to know that this suffering is leading me towards life. I don’t have time to live while I’m dying. I’m dying to myself so that I can truly live. I want to be among the few.

[Romans 8:18]

-Joy, for the band

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