I recently returned from 5 weeks of adventuring across Europe with some of my extended family. We saw so many incredible places! Italy, France, Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic…Oh, and dont get me started on the food. A-mazing. French pastries are the absolute best. And the history was incredible. There’s so many rich legends and traditions interwoven into each culture we visited. Oh my gosh, and the sights! Guys. If you ever get a chance to see the Eiffel Tower at night–it’s jaw-dropping. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the Swiss Alps and Mediterranean Sea.
Europe is beautiful, and I hope to go back some time! (Or maybe multiple times :)) The trip itself was very hard though...as in, I was secretly counting down the days til we left and I could go back home. Back home, to my comfort zone.
See, here’s the deal. I love my family like crazy. And my family loves me. I also love Jesus like crazy. And my family? Well, at the time of my writing this…they really really really don’t. Generally, whenever my relatives and I get together, we just talk about other things: theatre, work, school, fun things we’ve been up too, the weather…however, when you’re spending 6 weeks with people, you can only talk about the weather so many times before if starts getting old. Eventually, they started asking me questions about Jesus and my faith and convictions–all of which I was more than happy to share–that’s when I realized just how offensive the gospel really is.
Guys, Jesus is offensive. The idea of mankind being sinful…of needing a Savior…of the things that we consider “good” actually being wicked, according to Jesus…the idea of our life not being our own…Jesus Himself discusses how many will be offended by Him and His message (check out John 15:18-25).
My adventure across Europe was full of so many incredible sights and experiences! It was truly something special. However, it was also full of a great deal of challenges–to say that I received some less-than-kind comments due to my decision to live my life for Jesus, would be a slight understatement. Each day I woke up, walking on eggshells.
It was hard.
I found myself wishing for home. Home, where it was convenient to be kind and loving, because everyone else was pretty kind to me. Where it was convenient to love Jesus when I was going to church and singing worship songs alongside other believers on a regular basis. Home, where it was convenient to “turn the other cheek” because generally the “drama” I experience in relationships, really isn’t that dramatic at all.
But love isn’t about convenience.
Love is tested and grown in the battlefield. In the midst of trials and persecution. When you’re confused or hurt or tired or have-absolutely-no-clue-how-to-respond-in-love-right-now-because-someone-is-really-starting-to-drive-you-bananas…THAT, my friends, is one of the best opportunities for love to grow.
And those are the moments that we most realize how in need of Jesus we truly are.
I am a very broken human. If I’d had it my way, I would’ve given everyone a piece of my mind, tossed my hair, and stormed outta the room. Ha. I showed them. That’ll teach you to mess with a ginger.
But Jesus is so unlike me. He is kind and patient. He looks at people’s broken actions–and then goes a step further and sees their hurting heart. He is merciful. He is humble.
And He is righteous.
One day, Im going to stand before Him. And when that day comes, I want to look back and see that I chose His way. That I chose to lean upon the Lord. To surrender my brokenness time and time again. That I chose to let Him teach me how to love…even in the midst of discomfort and pain.
Because love isn’t about convenience. Love is about consistently choosing to say “Yes” to Jesus, even when it hurts.
PS Also, isn’t the Eiffel Tower fantastic??? Not gonna lie, pretty impressed with myself for that picture, haha 🙂