Being a disciple of Christ is hard.
Just look at the shoes we have to fill! It can be so overwhelming sometimes, that it's tempting to throw up our hands and say, "Jesus, I will never look like you, so why should I try?" Jesus raised the dead, after all. People. There was a dead man... rotting, stinky, decomposed... dead man. And after Jesus was through with him, he was as good as new (maybe even better). How are we supposed to model a life like that? I can't even make it through a day without physically hurting myself or someone else... much less healing someone - multiple people.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately - how incredibly overwhelming it is to look at the life of Jesus Christ and have any motivation to model it, knowing how weak and simple I am.
Some of us are quick to say that we are not called to be just like Jesus, because after all, Jesus was perfect, and we are human. But let me point you to a couple verses that don't leave any room for that kind of thinking.
Matt. 5:48 "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." These are the words of Jesus.
John 14:12 "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." These are also the words of Jesus.
Jesus is calling us to be perfect. How do we handle that?
There is some incredible joy that comes with this. That joy goes by the name of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit takes over for us, when we surrender to Him/Her, and our task does not have to be difficult, burdensome, or stressful. Jesus says, "For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." - Matt. 11:30. Seems a little contradictory, eh? How is being perfect an easy burden to bear? Because of the Spirit. When we empty ourselves, surrendering to the Spirit's Power, He/She does the work for us. There is so much freedom in that!! I hope you hear this truth the way I heard it the other day. We do not have to fit a mold, succumb to the pressure of society, or strain or struggle. All we have to do is empty ourselves, and the work is done! After surrendering, all we must do is live presently in each moment, listening and doing. That is so easy... and SO freeing. Of course we will mess up. The point is that we stand back up, let the Father dust us off and point us a new direction, and surrender again. And again. And again and again and again.
(A lot of these ideas came from a sermon I heard at Traders Point Community Church in Zionsville, IN).